News The Civil Guard dismantles a plot that introduced 39...

The Civil Guard dismantles a plot that introduced 39 tons of toxic clams in Spain | Society

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The Civil Guard has dismantled a plot that was dedicated to selling, without the mandatory sanitary control, japan clams contaminated with viruses and bacteria. The Txupas operation, developed in collaboration with Europol and the Portuguese authorities, is processed by the Court of Instruction 1 of Santander and has resulted in the confiscation of 38.5 tons of illegal clams and 43 people arrested or investigated (39 of them Spanish). Also involved are 11 clam trading companies that turned a blind eye to the origin of the merchandise. The court activated this investigation last Christmas, after intoxicating 27 people in restaurants in Cantabria and other areas of northern Spain, according to legal sources.

The almost 39 tons of clams came basically from Portugal. There, shellfish producers charge three euros per kilo of clams, which are sold in Spain by intermediaries for more than triple. It has been in this country where the Civil Protection Service (Seprona) of the Civil Guard has confiscated them.

The operation has resulted in 43 people arrested or investigated, 39 of them Spanish, and four other foreigners

The japan clam is usually gray or beige, and it is common to prepare them with fish. It is fed by filtering nutrients from the water, which in certain areas may contain bacteria and / or viruses that end up inside. Well washed and purified, it is possible to eliminate bacteria, but not viruses. On certain dates, such as Christmas, this bivalve is in high demand in Spain, where there are strict controls. Six of the 11 companies investigated have registered in the operation.

The agents of the Central Operational Environment Unit (Ucoma) of the Civil Guard – the same ones that have investigated the listeria focus in Seville – discovered that clams entered through nurseries in Huelva and Cantabria. There were responsible in these who omitted to write down the entry of these mollusks in the purification seat books and mixed them with other legal ones. "The objective was for the lots to totally lose their traceability to make it difficult to inspect the bivalves, as well as the exact amount of clam stored," according to the Civil Guard. The last load of 2.5 tons was intervened last October.

In addition, to bleach the origin of mollusks in poor condition, in the nurseries they used false documents from Portuguese estuaries. For example, from the Sado River, considered virus free. It has been proven that the quantities supposedly arrived in Spain from the river do not correspond quantitatively with the clams that it is capable of generating.

The japan clam is usually gray or beige, and it is common to prepare it combined with different fish dishes

Most of the poachers in Portugal were people with limited financial resources and acted at night so as not to be discovered and directed by the so-called concentrators. These put a very low price on the merchandise and stored it until they had enough quantity to sell it in Spain. Some concentrators and carriers have been arrested in Spain and Portugal after being monitored and controlled for deliveries and cash receipts of the genre.

From the beginning, given the international connections, the operation was coordinated by EUROPOL. The agents also intervened 80,000 euros and located a kindergarten (clandestine store) where they kept illegal clams for consumption in restaurants.

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