THE GUARDIA CIVIL have arrested 65 people as part of a crackdown on the illegal sale of horsemeat throughout Europe.
The horsemeat ring, ran by Dutch citizen Jan Fasen, was allegedly dedicated to selling substandard meat in mainly Belgium and Italy. According to investigators, the illegal network made a profit of €20 million.
Seprona began the operation last summer, after discrepancies were discovered in the horse meat sector. The investigation led detectives to three slaughterhouses in Spain (in Astorga, Toreno and Segovia) that used diseased and injured horses.
According authorities, Fasen “managed the whole complex from the shadows, placing his accomplices throughout different areas as a means to extend his illegal network.”
The detainees are accused of animal abuse, falsifying documents, money laundering, criminal organisation and crimes against public health.
Nine of the accused, including the Dutch leader, have been detained in Leon until sentencing at the Court of Ponferrada.