Police raid premises in Ceredigion and London

POLICE and environmental officers swooped on nine premises in a nationwide operation against a network allegedly processing and selling unfit meat.

Seven people were arrested in the raids, carried out under search warrants in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, and at one shop in London, yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

Those arrested include former Ceredigion district councillor Dafydd Raw Rees, of Llandre, Aberystwyth, and Peter Maguigan, who is employed by a government agency dealing with safeguarding food standards.

Ceredigion police divisions Detective Inspector Gareth Jones said: All the warrants were executed on Tuesday morning (26 March). And I can confirm that seven people were arrested as part of the multi-agency investigation into criminal offences associated with the illegal slaughter and processing of meat.

They have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal deception, and they are being interviewed at police stations in Ceredigion.

The on-going multi-agency investigation is being carried out by officers from Dyfed Powys Police, Cyngor Sir Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire environmental health teams, the Meat Hygiene Service, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Food Standards Agency.

It is understood that premises at which search warrants were executed include Tyn Parc, Llandre, and Oriel Jones and Sons, Llanybydder.

DI Jones said: The involvement of the police is an indication of the seriousness with which these matters are being viewed by the relevant agencies.

And the positive action being taken is part of an on-going multi-agency effort to ensure that the highest possible standards are adhered to, in relation to meat hygiene in the West Wales area.

The investigation, which is believed to have been on-going for some time, is being co-ordinated from Aberystwyth police station.

DI Jones said: We want to hear from anyone who has information which might help the present investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Aberystwyth police station (01970 612791) or, alternatively, Crimestoppers (0800 555111).

The involvement of the police is an indication of the seriousness with which these matters are being viewed by the relevant agencies  DI Jones