Allegations of Food Product Origin Falsification in Albania Lead to Immediate Export Document Hold

 The Food and Veterinary Agency has taken decisive action against the company "Apetit," ordering an immediate halt to the issuance of export documents due to raised suspicions of food product origin falsification, specifically meat, by the said company, Albanian media reports.

Some sliced meat fillets (archive)
 Some sliced meat fillets (archive)
The Food and Veterinary Agency (FVA) has initiated measures against the company "Apetit" Sh.P.K, suspending the export of meat products.

FVA indicated that the decision came after confirmation that the company in question had purchased meat from Brazil and sold it in Albania, falsely labeling it as originating from Kosovo, along with the falsification of documents in collaboration with suspected state inspectors.

"A professional commission has been formed to audit all business transactions to verify the raised suspicions. We will support each other with data regarding the findings stemming from detailed inspections."

Following suspicions of food product origin falsification (meat) by the Economic Operator Apetit sh.p.k., the Food and Veterinary Agency has ordered an immediate halt to the issuance of export documents for the mentioned business.

According to the food agency, anyone involved in illegal activities will face punitive measures as determined by law.

"As an authority, we promise full transparency with the data following the completion of the tracing. Additionally, for each punitive measure imposed on each involved party, we will present the violations if proven. FVA will not grant amnesty to any employee found guilty of misconduct."

Minister of Agriculture, Faton Peci, also addressed the reports concerning suspicions of document manipulation in this case.

According to the minister, immediate actions included sending an inspector to a disciplinary committee and imposing a ban on export-import for the economic operator involved in this matter.

"In response to these serious suspicions, the decision has been made to form a professional commission to conduct a thorough audit and traceability of the economic operator's activities," said Peci.

The minister emphasized that this commission would focus on verifying the consistency of all entries and exits to confirm any raised suspicions.

"...other relevant authorities, including Kosovo Customs and the Kosovo Tax Administration (KTA), have been informed of the situation and are committed to their respective checks. Coordination and mutual support among institutions are essential to ensure that all suspected actions are identified and treated with the necessary seriousness."

The minister expressed determination that if suspicions regarding official document manipulation and deceit are confirmed, then all individuals involved - including the economic operator - will face corresponding legal and administrative consequences arising from these actions.

Kosovo journalist Lirim Mehmetaj, regarding the case, wrote that this company "has such strong ties with the state" that it has "officialized" Brazilian meat as if it were fresh meat from Kosovo.

"Look at what state we live in! The company 'Apetit' has such strong ties in the state that it officializes Brazilian meat as if it were fresh meat from Kosovo, and this is done with official documentation from the State Food and Veterinary Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture. Imagine, they just remove the invoice from Brazil and replace it with one from Kosovo, and this is done by state inspectors of Kosovo."

Initially, the case of the meat was investigated by the "Stop" TV show.

They had ordered 1 ton of meat from Kosovo to "Apetit." The amount of veal fillet went to Tirana through the Morina customs point, passing all veterinary valve controls or even the falsification of meat origin.

Moreover, according to them, 'Apetit' had also falsified the price to avoid paying duties based on the real price of 15 euros per 1 kg of veal fillet.
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