European authorities claim to have arrested at least 66 individual people in a widespread European food scam which sold horse meat unfit for human consumption, often times being labeled as beef.
European Union police say that alongside their coordinating intelligence organization Europol, they were able to takedown the atrocious ring of horse meat delicacies which was being served and sold as a premium beef.
The agencies together announced on Sunday that eight total European nations cooperated in the cross country operation. In Spain alone 65 people face a series of charges relating to public health, money laundering, and animal abuse for tainting the food supply with horse meat and slaughtering horses from both farms and racetracks for profit.
While the operation took several months, intelligence officers at Europol were able to identify a ringleader and the chief suspect, a Dutch businessman, was arrested in Belgium in April. After taking down his disgusting throne at the forefront the rest of the dominos began to fall.
Spain's Civil Guard claimed that the criminal ring acquired horses in Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Portugal that were "in poor shape, old, or had been designated 'not apt for consumption’ in order to slaughter them."
After the criminal syndicate was found to have been falsifying paperwork and substituting microchips used to identify the horses, the animals were then slaughtered for their meat and the delicacy shipped to Belgium for international transport and local consumption.
The Civil Guard said that the profits from the illegal horse meat syndicate could reach $23 million annually and that even those numbers are likely lower tier estimates.
Investigators were able to tie the case to a 2013 scandal when Irish authorities also detected beef burgers containing horse meat sold in cafés and diners.
Joint organizations in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Britain and Spain cooperated in the operation to takedown the tainted meat and those who would intend to profit from the slaughter of the beautiful creatures.
Meanwhile stocks of American beef are expected to surge when the markets open this week, in anticipation of distrust coming from the European agriculture and livestock industry.
Beef and livestock markets in the US have already surged under President Trump who's made record accomplishments in exporting premium American meats into China and across Asia.