LONDON – Three people were arrested in connection with a police investigation into horse meat being sold as beef.
Dyfed-Powys police in Wales made the arrests on suspicion of fraud, according to the Food Standards Agency. However, the investigation is live and ongoing.
Police arrested two men aged 64 years and 42 years at Farmbox Meats near Aberystywth, Wales. Dyfed-Powys officers also arrested a man aged 63 at the Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, FSA said. The agency suspended approvals for both plants so neither firm was operational.
"Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm the three people have been arrested on suspicion of offences under the Fraud Act and they are being detained at Aberystwyth Police Station where they will be interviewed jointly by police and FSA staff in what has this afternoon become a joint operation," FSA said in a statement.
In addition to the arrests, FSA officers entered three premises in England with local authorities and the police; one was in Hull and two in Tottenham. Officers seized computers and documentary evidence, as well as meat samples that were taken for testing, FSA reported.
"The FSA has submitted a full file and evidence on this issue to Europol," the agency said. "The agency has continued to provide information to Europol and this information has now been analyzed by both Europol and law enforcement agencies in 35 countries — across Europe and elsewhere."
European Union nations convened an emergency meeting at EU headquarters Feb. 13 to compare discuss the horse meat scandal and form a plan of action to address the problem. During the meeting, representatives from EU member states recommended that the investigation should be coordinated by the EU’s Europol law enforcement agency.