Arrests in Spain have been made following a two-year investigation prompted by big increase in Iranian saffron imports.

Police and customs officers in Spain arrested 17 people and seized half a tonne of saffron after busting a gang allegedly importing the spice from Iran.

The alleged bulked out the Iranian saffron and sold it as a much-prized Spanish variety.

The gang were busted in Ciudad Real, 112 miles south of Madrid, after a two year surveillance operation watch of importing large quantities of Iranian saffron.

The saffron was marketed as being from La Mancha after being processed, dyed and packaged.