Horsemeat scandal: business owner condemned of scams

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Andronicos Sideras combined horsemeat with beef at his business in north London as part of conspiracy

A London entrepreneur has been condemned of conspiring to defraud consumers by including horsemeat to batches of beef and relabeling them as pure beef.

Andronicos Sideras of Southgate, London, was founded guilty on Wednesday following a three-week trial at Inner London crown court.

The 55-year-old, who was initially from Cyprus, dealt with 2 other males who traded from Hull to pass off more affordable horsemeat as beef for processing into hamburgers and prepared meals. Ulrik Nielsen, 58, of Gentofte, Denmark, and Alex Beech, 44, of Sutton-on-Hull, had formerly pleaded guilty to their part in the conspiracy. Nielsen and Beech had been trading as FlexiFoods. All 3 will be sentenced next week.

In 2013, the UK Food Standards Agency asked the City of London authorities to examine the scams, following the discovery of horsemeat in high street beefburgers by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Throughout searches of FlexiFoods workplaces in Hull and Denmark, e-mails and other files were discovered which supplied proof of the conspiracy. FlexiFoods organized to have horsemeat from Ireland and Polish beef delivered to Sideras’s north London facilities, where they were blended together and relabelled with phony labels, before being sent out on to other companies as part of the horsemeat scandal that pertained to the general public’s attention in 2013.

“The effect of this scams was that customers and food mill alike were not just expense economically, because they were being done over, but they were being tricked about exactly what they were consuming,” the jury of 5 guys and 7 females heard throughout the trial.

The district attorney, Jonathan Polnay, informed the court that the scam was an easy procedure. “In 2012, beef cost around EUR3 [₤ 2.60] a kg at wholesale costs. Horsemeat was less expensive. At the time, it cost around EUR2 [₤ 1.75] a kg.” Money was therefore made by offering the mix as 100% beef.

Sideras, who ran the company Dinos & Sons, was discovered to have developed “incorrect documentation and labels to make it appear like all the meat being provided was beef”.

The Danish-owned FlexiFoods would purchase horsemeat and beef from other traders throughout Europe and have it provided to Dinos & Sons in Tottenham. Sideras rejected belonging to the conspiracy and informed the jury he was just saving horsemeat deliveries for FlexiFoods.

He confessed his company had altered some labels on the consignments, but firmly insisted that was just because the pallets had to be repacked after being harmed in transit. “We have never ever acquired, used or offered horsemeat,” he declared. Ownership of the horsemeat performed in reality stick with the trader FlexiFoods, but physically it moved through Dinos’ store. Sideras confessed he had fabricated the main health stamps of other factories which he had damaged e-mails from Nielsen around the time the horsemeat scandal broke.

Sideras was jailed in July 2013 and his finger prints were discovered on pallet labels connected to a consignment of blended horse and beef meat that had been planned for hamburgers but had been apprehended in Northern Ireland. These labels had been intentionally become make it look as though the load was 100% beef but when it was checked it remained in reality about 30% horse. The load likewise consisted of microchips for one Irish and 2 Polish horses that had formerly been owned as animals or riding horses. Their initial owners had not understood that they had been offered on for massacre.

DC Stephen Briars, the officer who led the case for the City of London authorities’ scam team stated the case had been “distinct and difficult”, including: “These 3 guys set out to trick the providers, merchants and eventually the customer so that they might make more money.”

City of London cops dealt with local authorities, the Food Standards Agency and the food market to collect the proof required and queries covered Denmark, Ireland, Poland, France, Holland and Italy.