On Wednesday, Interpol, the international criminal police organization, released a list of more than 11,000 tons and 250,000 gallons of contraband and hazardous food and drink—the organization's largest seizure ever.
Spanning shops, markets, airports, and seaports in 57 countries, the list reads like what you might find in an evil sorcerer's pantry. There's monkey meat, caterpillars, locusts, chicken intestines, olives coated with copper sulphate to enhance their color, and boatloads of "fake or adulterated alcohol including wine, whisky and vodka."
The operation—known as Operation Opson V—took place between November 2015 and February 2016.
“Fake and dangerous food and drink threaten the health and safety of people around the world, who are often unsuspectingly buying these potentially dangerous goods,” said Michael Ellis, head of Interpol’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods unit, which coordinated activities between the participating police departments across the globe.
In Bolivia, police found an entire warehouse of fake sardines with fake labels from a more renowned Peruvian brand. Who knew there was such culinary discrepancy between sardines?
More than 3,200 cartons of diet powder drinks with modified expiration dates were also seized. There were also a lot of fake dietary supplements and weight loss products, which would have maybe worked as well as the authentic ones.
But really the counterfeit chocolate and other sweets found in Eastern Europe take the cake. Don't mess with dessert; the people will always know.