News of the arrests had been delayed for “operational reasons,” it said. The police would not reveal when the men were arrested or their nationalities.
Detective chief superintendent Oliver Shaw said in a statement: “This is an extremely complex investigation covering a number of jurisdictions and a variety of businesses.
“We are working closely with police forces, other law enforcement agencies and regulators to determine whether horsemeat being used in a range of meat products was deliberate and coordinated criminal activity.”
Last month an influential committee of MPs – the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee – criticised the slow pace of the investigation into the scandal.
The MPs complained that no arrests had been made six months since the start of the scandal that rocked the food industry in the UK and throughout Europe.
The government tasked the City of London Police to work with the Food Standards Agency to investigate who was responsible for the crisis that cost the UK food industry millions of pounds and untold reputational damage.