Trio accused of passing off horsemeat as beef appear in UK court

Trio accused of passing off horsemeat as beef appear in UK court
Andronicos Sideras

Three men have appeared in court in the UK over allegations they passed horsemeat off as beef.

Andronicos Sideras (aged 54), Ulrik Nielsen (aged 57), from Denmark, and Alex Beech (aged 44), were accused at City of London Magistrates' Court of dishonestly arranging for beef and horsemeat to be combined for sale as beef for sale in the UK's meat industry.

The men are said to have mixed horsemeat with beef, with the combined product later sold as beef, between January 1, 2012 and October 31 that year.

In 2013 UK supermarkets were rocked by the horsemeat contamination crisis, with products labelled as beef and other meats found to contain various amounts of horse flesh.

The trio were jointly charged with conspiracy to defraud following an international investigation led by the City of London Police, which worked with the Food Standards Agency.

Beech, from Highfield Close, Hull, and Sideras, of Friars Walk, Southgate, north London, were first arrested and questioned in July 2013.

Nielsen, from Gentofte, near Copenhagen, was interviewed under caution in Hull the following month.

Magistrates bailed the men and ordered them to appear at Inner London Crown Court on October 25.

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