Three men have been charged with fraud for allegedly conspiring to sell horsemeat as beef.
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.
A statement from City of London Police said: "The charges follow a complex international criminal investigation which 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, 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 has been released with no further action.
The furore first hit the headlines in 2013 when large quantities of horsemeat were found in beef burgers sold in Tesco stores in the UK and Ireland, with traces of equine DNA also found in products in Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland.
Shortly after, Prof Chris Elliott, who was commissioned by Defra to assess the scale of food crime in the UK.
While the scandal did not pose a food safety issue, Ministers were concerned about the level to which consumers were being misled.
Speaking at the Fighting Food Fraud conference in Doncaster, he said there were ‘immense opportunities’ to penetrate the red meat sector in particular, due to the length of supply chains used by the big retailers.