Horsemeat scandal’s prime suspect revealed: Is this the tycoon who butchered the meat trade?

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He has become a leading suspect in the food scandal which has seen tainted meat sold by British supermarkets in ready meals and burgers

The Mirror, David Collins, Sam Hurley, April 12, 2013

Willy-Selten-1825594.pngThis is the tycoon Dutch ­authorities suspect may have flooded Europe with 50,000 tons of beef ­contaminated with horsemeat.

Willy Selten has become a leading suspect in the food scandal which has seen tainted meat sold by British supermarkets in ready meals and burgers.

Selten, who lives in a £1.5million house near Oss, Netherlands, owns two wholesalers being probed by officials.

The Dutch government initially denied any involvement in the scandal.

But this week officials recalled 50,000 tons of suspect beef sold by Selten’s firms, Wiljo Import en Export BV and ­Vleesgroothandel Willy Selten.

They have advised 370 companies across 16 countries to remove the beef from the food chain.

Selten became known to the authorities last May when meat supplied by his wholesaler tested positive for horse painkiller bute – which can be dangerous when consumed by humans.

But Selten’s huge meat businesses continued to operate.

Now investigators cannot find the paperwork that would help them trace the suspect beef’s source.

Employees-at-meat-processing-plant-1825595The beef – equivalent to 450 million quarter-pounder burgers – is worth £500million and was sold by Selten between January 2011 and February this year.

But millionaire Selten has failed to pay his 120 workers since the beginning of March, leading several to take legal action in an attempt to bankrupt his company.

He currently employs 85 Polish workers who live on a campsite near one of his warehouses in Oss, which stands behind imposing grey gates and ­corrugated shutters.

The father-of-two was said by neighbours to be a “quiet family man”.

One said: “He’s not flash but there’s a quiet, aristocratic air of wealth about him. He’s not short of a euro or two.”

Selten faced no action last year when horsemeat contaminated with bute was traced to one of his factories.

It was not until this year that the factory was shut down temporarily and Selten was taken to court in February.

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
7 Comments
  • I am totally convinced to become a vegatarian. The though of eating horse is so repugnant. And to not be made aware is even more maddening. Thank God for organzation like Mercy for Animals,Habitat for Horses and Defenders of Wildlife for bringing these terrible injustices to light. Now that those of us who really, really care have been informed keep the fight going to stop this cruelty.

    April 12, 2013
    • Judy Wendt

      Good for you Peggy. If there is a legacy worthy of these poor butchered animals it is that so many people are more conscious of what they are eating and fewer horses will end up in the meat pipeline. Horses and other animals are not just “ingredients.”

      This man should go to prison.

      April 12, 2013
      • BlessUsAll

        Yes, Judy, and even more conscious of *WHO* they are eating. :-) :-(

        Good for you, Peggy! Enjoy your clear conscience.

        Right, janwindsong, it is up to we the people to take back the power vested in us from the turn-a-blind-eye-and-open-the-wallet politicians.

        You’re so right about hitting the breeders where it hurts, Donna.

        “Big money” indeed, Daryl.

        April 13, 2013
  • janwindsong

    This is infuriating on for so many reasons; not the worst of which is the total lack of respect for his workers!! Then, his total narcisstic approach to selling illegal meat to thousands of consumers. The topper is his lying and manipulation of his neighbors who call him a quiet, unassuming man. Good God, a serial killer in their midst masuerading as one of your normal rich guys.

    When we will wake up and throw these low down thieves out on their ears!! Folks, it is up to you. We have to pay attention and call a spade a spade or this nonsense will roll on.

    April 12, 2013
  • Daryl

    some really no careing people for the safe being of people over seas…..even young children, must be big money ….?

    April 12, 2013
  • Donna

    I’ve been vegetarian for about 6 years and the main reason I quit eating meat was that I did not want to be any part of the cruelty with slaughter of any of the animals. And as far as our food, we as Americans have gotten so far from the source of our food that in reality we don’t know what we’re putting in our mouth at all. There is a better way to help our population of horses, stop the breeding!! stop using slaughter as a way to cull your herd. Its the same issue we have with our overpopulation of dogs and cats…stop breeding!! There should be huge fines for breeders who overbreed and money given to support the needs of the rescues. Hit people where it hurts, in the pockets!
    just my thoughts

    April 12, 2013
  • Molly

    The comment from Donna on April 12th says it all and says perfectly!

    April 16, 2013