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Man arrested on the Costa for fraudulently marketing hundreds of products on the internet, some a danger to public health
Crime

Man arrested on the Costa for fraudulently marketing hundreds of products on the internet, some a danger to public health

Over two years, around 4,500 shipments had been made resulting in an alleged profit of 300,000 euros, according to the authorities

SUR

Malaga

Tuesday, 2 July 2024, 15:11

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Spain's National Police force has seized more than 1,000 food and dietary products fraudulently marketed on the internet by a man in Malaga city.

Officers arrested a man on the Costa del Sol allegedly responsible for marketing the products, which were unauthorised replicas of other brands. The individual is alleged to have made a profit of 300,000 euros in two years.

During the search carried out at his home, officers seized thousands of adulterated products ready for sale, as well as packaging and labels, three computer hard disks and two mobile phones. The seized goods were sent to the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products and to the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, with the latter determining several of them posed a potential risk to public health.

Complaint

The police investigation started in February 2023 following a complaint. The legal representatives of a company reported a website which was marketing products that reproduced and imitated the brands owned by the company.

After investigating the website, officers found many more products for sale, of different brands, all of them health related. The complainant company had also carried out a test purchase which showed not only that the product purchased was different from the original, but also that it lacked a safety cap, an inner seal and an expiry date, and the concentration of the active ingredient was higher than the amount authorised by the European Union.

The products obtained in the test purchase were sent to the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products and to the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition. The latter determined that these products could not be legally marketed in Spain as they did not provide the mandatory food information and did not provide in Spanish the information they did contain. One of the products - a food supplement - provided an active ingredient in doses that would cause it to be considered as a medicine in Spain.

After analysing the different means of payment available on the website under investigation, officers found that over a period of approximately two years, 4,500 shipments had been made, a profit of 300,000 euros. Investigations then focused on locating the site where the products were stored and from where the web page was administered, detecting an address in Malaga city.

Of the 1,000 items seized, 52 samples were sent to the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products, and a total of 90 to the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition.

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