Dutchman at centre of new European horse meat scandal

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The scammers could have earned €20 million per year from the operations.

In a crackdown on the global ring found to be selling horsemeat across #Europe in the guise of expensive beef, 66 suspects are now in custody.

65 people arrested in Spain have been charged with crimes including animal abuse, document forgery, perverting the course of justice, crimes against public health, money laundering and being part of a criminal organisation.

Spanish police seized five luxury cars as part of the investigation and blocked several bank accounts.

According to the Financieele Dagblad, Fasen has an earlier conviction for selling cheap Argentine horse meat to Muslims as halal beef.

The operation was carried out by Spain's law enforcement agency, Guardia Civil, in coordination with the European agency Europol, involving police in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

This isn't the first time horsemeat has been in the headlines.

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The results concluded that the destination of the horsemeat was mainly outside of Spain because the samples in Spain matched those found overseas.

Authorities allege horse meat was being sold that was unfit for human consumption.

In summer 2016, Spanish environmental authorities found irregularities in the trade of horsemeat, which they found to be incorrectly labeled and exported.

"The investigation revealed the existence of an organization which acquired horses which were in bad condition and old and not apt for consumption and sacrificed them in two specific slaughter houses", a spokesman for the Civil Guard added.

The group is suspected of having modified the horse's microchips and documentation to pass off the meat as edible. The animals were slaughtered and processed, then sent on to Belgium, which is among the largest horsemeat exporters in the EU. This action was coordinated by the Federal Police, the Federal Food Agency in Belgium and Guardia Civil.

Mislabelled meat products were later found on supermarket shelves in a number of European countries, including the UK.