Italian cheese gang rob €785k of parmesan

Italian police have caught a gang accused of stealing parmesan wheels worth €785,000, in robberies that went on for more than a year.

Italian cheese gang rob €785k of parmesan
Parmigiano Reggiano is one of Italy's most costly cheeses. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Police in Modena, in the heartland of Italy’s famous Parmigiano Reggiano, issued 11 arrest warrants on Thursday after a lengthy investigation.

The cheese gang allegedly toured provinces in the centre and north of Italy, scouting out factories and warehouses to target.

In their investigation police uncovered electronic equipment used to deactivate alarm systems, tools used to break into buildings, radios and weapons.

The well-organized gang stole a total of 2,039 parmesan wheels between November 2013 and January 2015, Il Sole 24 Ore said.

Due to the high-quality of Parmigiano Reggiano, which is a protected product in Italy and the EU, their loot was valued at €785,000. 

Italians are particularly protective of their well-known cheese, which is exported around the world.

Last month the Italian consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese makers threatened legal action against Pornhub, the US adult content website, for using their product in a promotion advert.

Pornhub subsequently removed the advert and released a new “censored” version, beeping over the cheese phrase. 

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