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 suspects are facing an ongoing criminal investigation led by a court in the northern town of Ponferrada, in the Spanish province of León, into alleged animal cruelty, forgery, money laundering, membership of a criminal organisation and a crime against public health.
The investigation eventually led the Civil Guard to the Dutch meat trader, who had initially been involved in the beef burger scandal and was based in Calpe, Spain.
Authorities in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Britain and Spain co-operated in the operation.
The horsemeat scandal first surfaced in January 2013, when food inspectors in Ireland found horsemeat in ready-made burgers sold by British supermarket chain Tesco.
Last summer, police noted "unusual behaviour" in the horse meat market and arrested the original ringleader in Belgium although he was living a "discreet" life in Alicante.
Several bank accounts and properties were blocked or seized, and five luxury cars seized, Europol said. Other charges include committing crimes against public health.
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How did the racket work?
Spanish police began investigating a group which slaughtered Spanish and Portuguese horses too old or in too bad a condition for human consumption, forged their documentation and sent them to Belgium, a large horse meat exporter in the European Union.
Samples of horse meat taken during the investigation concluded that the horse meat was destined for markets outside of Spain.
Investigators then uncovered the fact that unwell or old horses were being slaughtered in two different locations in Spain.
Italy and France are the biggest consumers of equidae (horses, donkeys etc) meat, according to a report by the UK's Guardian newspaper in 2013.
Total EU horsemeat imports in 2012 came to 50,250 tonnes and exports 54,853, while EU beef imports in 2011 totalled 315,000 tonnes and exports - 510,200.