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Saturday 21 October 2017

Horsemeat burger suspect extradited over new food con burger scandal

Horsemeat was found in burgers in Irish supermarkets
Horsemeat was found in burgers in Irish supermarkets

A man suspected of being behind a food scam that led to potentially dangerous horsemeat being sold as beef in Ireland is locked up in a Spanish jail.

Dutch meat trader Jan 'Flash Harry' Fasen denied duping customers when the scandal broke in 2013.

However, it emerged yesterday that Fasen is in a Spanish jail after being extradited from Belgium for his alleged part in a new scam.

Seized

Spanish police helped dismantle a network suspected of putting horsemeat unfit for human consumption into the food chain and making a profit of €23m a year.

They said 65 people have been arrested in Spain alone.

Several bank accounts and properties have been frozen and five high-end cars seized as a result.

Horsemeat was found in beefburgers in Irish and British supermarkets, including four of Tesco's own-brand meat products, in 2013.

Ten million burgers were taken off shelves and sales fell by 43pc. As many as 13 European countries were implicated in the scandal.

Spanish police said "unusual signs in the horsemeat trade" last summer aroused their suspicions.

They uncovered an organisation that was sending Spanish and Portuguese horsemeat unfit for human consumption to Belgium - Europe's leading meat exporter.

In the course of investigations, police tracked down Fasen to a property in Calpe, near Alicante on the Costa Blanca.

"From there he maintained business interests in activities that he controlled in northern Europe," said Spanish police.

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

At the time of the 2013 scandal, it was reported that Fasen had been convicted of marketing South American horsemeat as halal-slaughtered Dutch beef.

He was alleged to have made €3.43m from the fraud.

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