Three men have been charged with fraud following a horsemeat contamination investigation.

The charges follow a City of London Police-led an inquiry into how food products, sold as beef, became “adulterated” with horsemeat.

Alex Ostler-Beech, 43, of Highfield Close in Hull; Ulrik Nielsen, 57, of Gentofte in Denmark; and Andrew Sideras, 54, of Frias Walk in Southgate, were all charged with conspiracy to defraud.

The complex international criminal investigation involved the City of London Police, the national policing lead for fraud, working together with the Food Standards Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and enforcement agencies in the UK and Europe.

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

In August, Nielsen was also interviewed under caution in Hull along with another 52-year-old man, who has been released with no further action.

“The CPS has today (26 August) authorised charges against three men, relating to the sale of mixed beef and horsemeat products which were sold as beef,” said Kristen Jones, head of specialist fraud for the CPS.


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“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.”

The three men have been released on bail and are due to appear at City of London Magistrates’ Court on 27 September.