Horsemeat burger suspect extradited over new food con burger scandal

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 17, 2017

Police say the group altered the identity of the horses by replacing their microchips or falsifying their passports.

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

SPANISH AUTHORITIES HAVE arrested 65 people for their involvement in a horsemeat criminal operation, as part of an investigation which was sparked by Irish authorities four years ago.

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

Police in Spain arrested 65 people suspected of crimes including animal abuse, document forgery, public health violations, money laundering and being part of a criminal organisation, Europe's policing agency Europol said in a statement.

According to the Financieele Dagblad, Fasen has an earlier conviction for selling cheap Argentine horse meat to Muslims as halal beef.

Investigators found the meat to contain the anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone.

The investigation in the wake of the scandal let to "the identification of a Dutch citizen known in the horsemeat world", Europol says.

Last summer, police noted "unusual behaviour" in the horse meat market and arrested the original ringleader in Belgium although he was living a "discreet" life in Alicante. From there he allegedly led the activities of the organisation, putting his most trusted men in charge in every country affected by the scam. As a result of all of these actions, several bank accounts and properties were blocked or seized, and five luxury cars impounded.

"The investigation revealed the existence of an organisation which acquired horses which were in bad condition and old and not apt for consumption and sacrificed them in two specific slaughter houses", he said.

The investigation eventually led the Civil Guard to the Dutch meat trader, who had initially been involved in the beef burger scandal and was based in Calpe, Spain.

The results concluded that the destination of the horsemeat was mainly outside of Spain because the samples in Spain matched those found overseas.

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