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

Horsemeat Scam Leads to 66 Arrests in Europe

Horsemeat Scam Leads to 66 Arrests in Europe

Yesterday, Europol announced that an organised crime group which traded horsemeat "unfit for human consumption" was dismantled in an operation by the Spanish Guardia Civil and in cooperation with seven other European countries.

They face charges of animal abuse, documentary falsification, prevarication, crimes against public health, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organisation.

Authorities in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Britain and Spain co-operated in the operation.

He has been sought since a scandal in the Republic of Ireland in March 2013 when horsemeat was found in beef burgers.

The meat was sold across Europe and may have earned the group over 20 million euros ($23 million) per year, Spanish police said in a separate statement.

Other charges brought against those arrested were perverting the course of justice and committing crimes against public health.

According to the Financieele Dagblad, Fasen has an earlier conviction for selling cheap Argentine horse meat to Muslims as halal beef. After the scandal of 2013 on the lasagna, a new network of traffic has been identified by investigators of Europol.

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

A French supplier, Comigel, which supplies products to customers in 16 countries, was at the time implicated in the scandal.

Bank accounts, properties and luxury cars were seized as part of the investigation.

Spain's Guardia Civil police force began their investigation in 2016 after detecting "unusual behaviour" in horsemeat markets.

It found that horses that were in bad shape, too old or simply labelled as "not suitable for consumption" were being slaughtered in two different slaughterhouses.

The Civil Guard representative claimed that the scammers changed the identity of the horses by substituting their microchips and or falsifying animal passports.

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