scandal

Horsemeat scandal and global processed food suppliers linked to arms trafficking

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: horsemeat, scandal, arms trafficking

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
Ben and Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
Harvard research links fluoridated water to ADHD, mental disorders
Right to farm being stripped from Americans: Michigan to criminalize small family farms with chickens, goats, honey bees and more
Delicious
(NaturalNews) The unfolding horse meat outrage currently engulfing Europe has taken on a new, bizarre twist, according to investigators. Key figures involved in the unfolding scandal have been linked to a similar secretive network of companies that have ties to convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an Eastern European-based group comprised of investigative journalists who have been tracking and reporting on the scandal, has now identified an intermediary business, Draap Trading - which is based in Limassol, Cyprus - as playing a primary role in distributing the horse meat across Europe.

Rocket propelled grenades, automatic weapons - and horse meat?

Britain's The Guardian newspaper, which is also tracking the story, reported that Draap has since confirmed it bought horse meat from a pair of Romanian slaughterhouses before selling the meat to French food processors including the firm Spanghero. That company, in turn, supplied the horse meat to yet another company, Comigel, which turned it into frozen meals for third-party companies like Findus. Some of those frozen dinners contained nearly 100 percent horse meat.

Draap officials say the meat the company supplied to French food processors was clearly labeled as horse meat. Spanghero said the meat was labeled as "beef."

Jan Fasen, who heads up Draap and has denied wrongdoing, "was convicted last year of selling South American horse meat as German and Dutch beef," The Guardian reported.

From here the story gets more bizarre.

The 'merchant of death'

According to investigative reports, Draap's sole director, apparently, is an anonymous corporate services firm called GuardStand, which was established in Limassol in 1996. A joint report released in 2011 by the International Peace Information Service and TransArms, an organization that researches and tracks arms shipments, contained evidence that GuardStand also owned a share in a firm called Ilex Ventures, "a connection that links the company to the global arms trade and Victor Bout," the paper said.

U.S. prosecutors have since filed documents in court alleging that, in 2007, Bout and an associated transferred some $750,000 (?483,000) to Ilex to buy an aircraft used to transport arms and ammunition to trouble spots throughout Africa, in violation of arms embargoes.

The prosecutors have said Ilex was owned and controlled by Bout, who is known as international weapons dealer, "the merchant of death." He was sentenced in April 2012 to 25 years in prison for smuggling arms.

However, who exactly owns GuardStand, and why Draap employs the firm as a director, is an unknown that is likely to be further scrutinized by officials looking into the widening horse meat scandal.

"GuardStand's sole shareholder is Trident Trust," The Guardian said, "a business based in Cyprus that specializes in establishing companies in tax havens chiefly for Russian and Ukrainian clients and which helped set up Ilex."

Petros Livanios, who manages Trident and is a former director of Ilex, declined press interviews.

Cyprus a known international mafia haven

Currently no one is hinting that Trident was aware GuardStand may have been compromised by criminal networks. But the murky nature of its ownership has come under further examination as part of the horse meat investigation.

"This illustrates why hidden company ownership is such a problem," said Rosie Sharpe, of the campaign group Global Witness. "It could be all too easy for crooks passing horse meat off as beef, arms dealers fueling wars or corrupt dictators nicking their country's wealth to set up a company if they so wished. The ownership or control of European companies can be hidden perfectly legally by using nominees or companies incorporated in secrecy jurisdictions."

The Cyprus public health services deputy director, Christos Christou, said investigators had taken possession of a "variety of documents" from Draap's office in Limassol that they will be sharing with the European commission.

To some, the link between horse meat and a notorious arms dealer isn't as farfetched as it sounds.

"Cypriot companies frequently turn up in criminal investigations," Sharpe said. "They have been used by the Iranian government to evade sanctions, by Slobodan Milosevic to provide arms for the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, and by Russian officials who used them to steal hundreds of millions of pounds."

In mid-February, French officials said the scandal had widened to 28 companies in 13 countries. The scandal began in January when British and Irish authorities found traces of equine DNA in supermarket hamburger.

Sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk

http://www.guardian.co.uk

http://www.naturalnews.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.