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Dozens held in Spain in horsemeat scam probe - Europol

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By Alasdair Sandford
Dozens held in Spain in horsemeat scam probe - Europol

<p>Europol says an operation with Spanish police has dismantled an organised crime group that was trading horsemeat in Europe that was unfit for human consumption.</p> <p>A total of 66 people are said to have been arrested – all but one of them in Spain.</p> <p>It follows tests carried out in Ireland in 2013 that showed meat labelled as beef was sometimes up to 100 percent horsemeat.</p> <p>The Spanish investigation by the Guardia Civil identified a scam where horses either old or in bad shape were being slaughtered and the meat sent to Belgium. </p> <p>A wide network was allegedly identified; police operations were carried out in several countries including the UK.</p> <p>Europe’s police agency says 65 people were detained in Spain, while the main suspect – a Dutch businessman – was picked up in Belgium. </p> <p>Those held in Spain have been charged with crimes such as animal abuse, forgery, money laundering and crimes against public health. Several bank accounts have been blocked and properties seized.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Police dismantle crime group trading horsemeat unfit for human consumption. Great effort by <a href="https://twitter.com/guardiacivil"><code>guardiacivil</a> & others: <a href="https://t.co/GqSz0yBxQq">https://t.co/GqSz0yBxQq</a> <a href="https://t.co/oDSHBnMTrf">pic.twitter.com/oDSHBnMTrf</a></p>— Europol (</code>Europol) <a href="https://twitter.com/Europol/status/886516655890866176">July 16, 2017</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>