Dutchman at centre of new European horse meat scandal

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A Dutch national is one of dozens of people arrested in connection with a Europe-wide investigation into the sale of horse meat which was unfit for human consumption, European police organisation Europol said at the weekend.

The businessman, identified in the Dutch media as 67-year-old Jan Fasen from Breda, was found to be in Alicante, Spain where, Europol says, he ‘led the activities of the organisation, putting his most trusted men in charge in every country affected by the scam’.

In Spain itself, 65 people were arrested and charged with crimes such as animal abuse, document forgery, perverting the course of justice, crimes against public health, money laundering and being part of a criminal organisation, Europol said in a statement.

The Dutchman was arrested in Belgium in April, and police also carried out raids in France, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

According to the Financieele Dagblad, Fasen has an earlier conviction for selling cheap Argentine horse meat to Muslims as halal beef. His company was also implicated in another scandal surrounding horse meat.