Eight charged in France over horsemeat trafficking ring

Eight charged in France over horsemeat trafficking ring
An artisan butcher cuting a peace in a horsemeat in a traditional horse butchery in Marseille, southern France. Police have detained 26 people in a massive Europe-wide sweep against horsemeat traffickers.

MARSEILLE, France - French authorities have charged eight people over their alleged role in a Europe-wide horsemeat trafficking ring dismantled last weekend, a judicial source said Thursday.

The suspects were charged in the southern port city of Marseille, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous and gave no details as to their nationality.

The EU's judicial agency Eurojust announced Saturday that 26 people from seven European countries, including France, Belgium and Britain had been detained as part of a probe into the ring, which is accused of introducing horsemeat unfit for human consumption into the food chain.

The arrests came two years after a major scandal triggered by the discovery that horsemeat was being passed off as beef in burgers and other meat products sold across Europe.

Meatballs, sausages and frozen burgers were pulled from supermarket shelves by the millions over the find.

Eurojust did not say whether there was any connection between the recent arrests and the 2013 horsemeat scandal.

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