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Public warned over fake matzot

March 24, 2010 10:43

Chief Rabbinate finds Be'er Tuvia cache of matzot with phony kashrut seals.

The coming Passover night might bring us a new brand of matzot: fake ones.

In a well-hidden Be’er Tuvia cache, the Chief Rabbinate found no less than seven tons of matzot. Their boxes were adorned with the highest standard kosher seals, but the certifications were actually a clever fake. The product was found to have been made in poor conditions with leavened bread remains lying around the bakery, suspected use of regular flour that hadn’t been approved as kosher for Passover and no evidence of supervision.

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The Rabbinate issued a statement Wednesday warning the public against buying matzot appearing on store shelves with fake kashrut seals. The Rabbinate Internet site contains updated information as to the legitimate seals.

The fraudulent products were marketed in two different packages, one bearing a fake seal and the other with a seemingly genuine manufacturer's label, making their detection more difficult. Some of the products are being sold at rock-bottom prices and even include labeled promises that all proceeds go to charity. 

The scam appears to be an attempt to exploit the lucrative matzot manufacturing industry, since many families including those at a low-income level make the utmost effort to obtain hand-made matzot, at least for the Passover night itself, at the cost of hundreds of shekels.   

It was still unclear what authority would handle the issue, with the police claiming it was under Rabbinate jurisdiction, and the latter countering that a fraud of this magnitude justified criminal proceedings.
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