It is thought that a batch of meat labelled as ‘pure beef’ may in fact have contained horsemeat.
The product was found to have three horse ID microchips, raising accusations that it actually contained a significant amount of horsemeat, despite being labelled as beef.
Andronicos Sideras, a London businessman, has been accused in court of trying to bulk out the ‘beef’ with 30,000kg of horsemeat in order to sell more of it for use in burgers and ready meals.
This alleged mis-labelling of the product happened before the infamous scandal of 2013 where product after product was pulled from supermarket shelves after being found to contain horsemeat.
The prosecutor during the trial, last week told the jury: “It will be apparent that for the fraud to work it needed someone to carry out the physical mixing of the meats. It needed someone to fix the documents to make them look genuine. That key role was taken by this defendant.”
The prosecution also accused Danish company Flexifoods of buying the horsemeat from European suppliers. It was later delivered to Sideras who mixed it with beef and produced fake paperwork.
Flexifoods owner Ulrik Nielsen and colleague Alex Beech were first arrested in 2013 and have admitted to their involvement in the crime.
“This case, stripped to its essentials, is very straightforward. It is about lying to people and deceiving people to make money. Or to be more precise — to make more money. Like most, if not all, offences of dishonesty; it was motivated by greed.”
The trial into the horsemeat scandal continues.