Horse meat trial shines light on key part of international fraud

Frozen meat adulterated with horse intended for burgers. Photograph: City of London Police.
Frozen meat adulterated with horse intended for burgers. Photograph: City of London Police.

The Guardian| Felicity Lawrence | July 26, 2017 | Full Article

The conviction of three men in London for conspiracy to defraud by selling horse mislabelled as beef marks the end of the UK police operation to identify the criminals in its jurisdiction behind the horsemeat scandal of 2013.

Operation Boldo, run by the City of London police’s specialist fraud division, tracked just one of the trails of dodgy meat that were exposed when the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) published tests at the beginning of 2013.

These showed that burgers and ready meals on sale in leading retailers and fast food outlets contained undeclared horse and pig DNA. The FSAI report sparked testing across Europe, which exposed industrial-scale adulteration of the food supply.

Investigations that followed in the UK led to others being charged with or convicted of regulatory offences relating to horse slaughter or selling beefburgers containing undeclared offal, and a conviction for labelling goat as lamb but, four and a half years on, this is the first UK conviction for selling mislabelled horsemeat. • Keep reading »

The Daily Mail | July 27, 2017 | Full Article

A businessman was today found guilty of being part of a near-£200,000 conspiracy to pass off 30 tonnes of horsemeat as beef, much of which went on to enter the food chain.

The court heard how Danish-owned company FlexiFoods would buy horsemeat and beef from suppliers across Europe and have it delivered to Dinos in Tottenham, North London.

Labels and paperwork were fabricated to make the mixed meat appear like pure beef, before it was sold on to food manufacturers making products for a ‘vast range of well-known companies’, prosecutor Jonathan Polnay told the trial.

The businessman was caught after equine microchips were discovered in some packages. The animals had not been sold for slaughter. • Read more »

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