MADRID: Spanish police have seized 74 tonnes of stolen olives within the southern province of Seville, the newest theft triggered by hovering costs attributable to a dwindling harvest.
Twelve individuals had been arrested within the city of Pilas for his or her suspected involvement within the theft and buying and selling of the olives, police mentioned in an announcement on Friday.
Spain is the world’s largest producer of olives and olive oil. Heatwaves when the olive timber had been flowering and a extreme drought have brought about a plunge in manufacturing, driving up costs. An analogous harvest is anticipated in 2024, based on estimates.
Police have additionally detected thefts of olive oil.
About 6,000 litres of additional virgin olive oil had been stolen in late September from olive oil producer Terraverne, which operates in Teba, a small village in Malaga province, and specialises in premium olive oil.
The olive oil was already bottled for dispatch to clients, mentioned spokesperson Laura Larrubia Nogales.
“With the costs of olive oil, stealing oil is now like stealing jewelry,” Larrubia Nogales mentioned in a phone interview.
It was the primary time they’d suffered a theft of this sort, she mentioned.
The thieves deactivated the safety cameras and carried out the theft at night time, inflicting vital harm.
The corporate has strengthened safety measures, putting in extra alarms and perimeter cameras. Police had been conducting night time patrols close to the positioning, Larrubia Nogales added.
Marin Serrano El Lagar, an oil press in Carcabuey, Cordoba, had about 50,000 litres of olive oil stolen a number of days later. The corporate declined to remark to Reuters on the incident.
Dcoop, the most important olive oil cooperative in Spain and the nation’s second-biggest olive oil producer, mentioned none of its presses had suffered robberies.
However “what is evident is that the costs improve the temptation”, Dcoop mentioned in a response to Reuters.