News Worms
News Worms

Remember the horsemeat in burgers scandal - 66 arrested in Europol swoop

Remember the horsemeat in burgers scandal - 66 arrested in Europol swoop

The businessman, identified in the Dutch media as 67-year-old Jan Fasen from Breda, was found to be in Alicante, Spain where, Europol says, he "led the activities of the organisation, putting his most trusted men in charge in every country affected by the scam".

The suspects are facing an ongoing criminal investigation led by a court in the northern town of Ponferrada, in the Spanish province of León, into alleged animal cruelty, forgery, money laundering, membership of a criminal organisation and a crime against public health.

66 people have been arrested in the operation, which was carried out in coordination with authorities in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The horsemeat scandal first surfaced in January 2013, when food inspectors in Ireland found horsemeat in ready-made burgers sold by British supermarket chain Tesco.

The Civil Guard representative claimed that the scammers changed the identity of the horses by substituting their microchips and or falsifying animal passports. He was a well-known figure in the horse meat world but had disappeared.

However, the trade is small compared, for instance, to the beef market.

Ten million burgers were taken off shelves and sales fell by 43pc.

According to Europe, the authorities 'detected a scam whereby horses in bad shape, too old or simply labelled as "not suitable for consumption" were being slaughtered in two different slaughterhouses'.

Europol and Spanish Guardia Civil officers inspect a horse in this picture released after the arrest of 65 people involved in an illegal horsemeat racket.

Meat from the animals, which came from Portugal and several parts of northern Spain, was processed in a specific facility and from there sent to Belgium, a major horsemeat exporter.

"This person managed this network from the shadows, using men of confidence in each of the territories in which it was present".

Police carried out several raids in the north of Spain, blocking or seizing bank accounts and properties as well as confiscating five luxury cars.


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