Three men charged with fraud over horsemeat

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Three men have been charged with fraud involving horsemeat
Three men have been charged with fraud involving horsemeat

Related tags: Police

Three men have been charged with fraud offences for allegedly conspiring to sell horsemeat as beef.

They have been charged following an investigation into how food products became adulterated with horsemeat by the City of London Police.
   
Alex Ostler-Beech, aged 43 from Hull, Ulrik Nielsen, aged 57 of Gentofte, Denmark and Andrew Sideras aged 54 of Southgate, were all charged with conspiracy to defraud and are due to appear on bail at City of London Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday September 27.

The charges detailed that the three of them between January 1 2012 and October 31 2012 conspired together, and with others, to defraud purchasers of goods that contained, wholly or in part, a mixture of beef and horsemeat, by dishonestly arranging for beef and horsemeat to be combined for sale as beef. 

Complex international criminal investigation

The charges followed a complex international criminal investigation that saw the City of London Police, which is the national policing lead for fraud, working in partnership with the Food Standards Agency and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as well as law enforcement agencies from across the UK and Europe.

City of London Police detectives first arrested Ostler-Beech in Hull and Sideras in London in July 2013.

In August, Nielsen was also interviewed under caution in Hull along with a 52-year-old man.

The 52-year-old man was released with no further action.

CPS charges

Kristin Jones, head of specialist fraud for the CPS, said: “The CPS has today authorised charges against three men, relating to the sale of mixed beef and horsemeat products which were sold as beef.

“After carefully considering evidence from the UK and overseas, the CPS has decided that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to charge these three men.

“This decision comes after a thorough investigation conducted by the City of London Police in liaison with partner agencies.

“Ulrick Nielsen, Alex Ostler-Beech and Andronicos Sideras will appear at the City of London Magistrates Court on Tuesday September 27 2016.

“May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against Nielsen, Ostler-Beech and Sideras will now be commenced and of their right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

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