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26 arrested in horse meat probe
25 Apr 2015 20:08
Police from seven European countries have arrested 26 people in a crackdown on a horse meat trafficking ring two years after a tainted meat scandal that rocked the European Union.
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The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that its department vets along with gardaí took part in the initiative.
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The EU's judicial agency Eurojust said in a statement that the swoop gathering hundreds of police and judicial officials "succeeded in stopping an organised criminal network involved in trade in illegal horse meat."
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The operation involved officers and the judiciary in France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Britain, the European Union agency said.
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Eurojust did not say where the 26 suspects were arrested but the Dutch public prosecutor's office said three were arrested in the Netherlands.
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France had requested the trio's extradition, the prosecutors added.
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Media in Belgium said four of its nationals, including the alleged ringleader, were arrested in France.
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Eurojust said the main suspect in the ring, which is accused of introducing horse meat unfit for human consumption into the European food chain, was Belgian.
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The suspect, who was operating out of Belgium, had been under investigation since November 2012, the statement added.
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