Thursday, November 11, 2010

Well oil be dammed

They say that thieves will stop at nothing and it is true. Whatever they can lay their hands on to make money is regarded as fair game.

This tale  just proves that point.

Imagine how Pedro Fernandez reacted when he saw on the surveillance video, four men enter the warehouse of the Frusemur co-operative in Murcia, Spain where he is the technical manager. The men looked around, then drilled a hole in the side of each vat of oil and ran a pipe out of the building to tanks on trucks that were waiting in the yard. Almost 50,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil, worth an estimated $140,000, vanished on the night of 19 June.

This was not the first occasion that thieves have used this approach to steal oil. The same method was used each time. The thieves targeted small producers or co-operatives where the vats contained top-quality oil ready for bottling. Having filled their own tanks, they crossed northern Spain and the south of France with fake papers indicating they were carrying olive pomace oil, a residue product that is not fit for human consumption. Once in Italy, the precious liquid was marketed as Italian oil, reputedly better and certainly more expensive than its Spanish counterpart.

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