Horsemeat scandal: Dutch trader Willy Selten arrested

Willy Selten It was reported that 50,000 tonnes of meat sold as beef by Mr Selten may have contained horsemeat

A Dutch meat wholesaler, Willy Selten, has been arrested for allegedly selling 300 tonnes of horsemeat as beef, officials say.

Mr Selten, who owns meat wholesaler Willy Selten BV, was arrested with the company's interim director.

The public prosecutor said they were suspected of false accounting and fraud.

In April, it was reported that 50,000 tonnes of meat sold as beef by Mr Selten may have contained horsemeat.

The Dutch food safety authority, the NVWA, asked hundreds of companies across Europe supplied by Mr Selten to check their products.

"The business allegedly received 300 tonnes of horsemeat from the Netherlands, England and Ireland in 2011 and 2012," the prosecutor's statement said.

The company's accounts showed this horsemeat was processed as beef, according to the statement.

minced beef - file picture The EU is set to adopt legislation to tackle food fraud.

The accounts did not say where the meat came from or where it went to.

Speaking on Dutch TV on Wednesday night, Mr Selten said the allegations made no sense and denied criminal activity.

"We never stuck labels on something that wasn't beef."

Mr Selten's company was declared bankrupt in April.

The horsemeat scare began in Ireland in January, rapidly spreading to the UK, France, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany.

The EU is set to adopt an Animal and Plant Health legislative proposal in the coming weeks, which includes clauses designed to tackle food fraud.

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