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Thursday 14 December 2017

Five held over €120m pork scare

Five men were arrested today as part of a cross-border investigation into a contamination scare in the Irish pork industry which cost pig producers an estimated €120m.

Four of the men were detained in Co Tyrone and Co Armagh by detectives belonging to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

At the time of the alert, just before Christmas 2008, shelves across Europe had to be cleared of pork produced in the the Republic after traces of dioxins were found in oil used in the making of feed to pigs and cattle.

The four men are being questioned on suspicion of fraud by false representation - moving oil without proper authorisation.

The oil was allegedly supplied to producers in the Republic, who lost an estimated €100m.

Three of the men are from the Dungannon and Coalisland areas of east Tyrone. A fourth was detained in Blackwatertown, Co Armagh. They are aged 43, 29, 27 and 25 and it is understood some of them are related.

They are being questioned in Antrim by officers belonging to the PSNI's crime operations department.

Members of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Dublin, which launched the initial investigation, are liaising with police colleagues in the North.

An Irish High Court judge has ordered a Northern Ireland company to pay €38.7m damages to a Co Wexford company arising from the animal feed contamination.

The 2008 recall of Irish pork was ordered after pig meat on a number of farms was found to have had between 80 and 200 times more dioxins than the recognised safety limit.

Dioxins such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were detected in the biscuit feed meal for pigs and cattle.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly ruled that Millstream Recycling Ltd was entitled to the damages against O'Neill Fuels Ltd, of Coalisland, Co Tyrone, which had denied supplying any fuel containing dioxins.

Folling the arrests in the North gardai said a man in his 50s was arrested in Co Monaghan this morning in connection with the investigation.

He is being held at Monaghan garda station under Section 4 of the Irish Republic's Criminal Justice Act.

He can be questioned for up to 24 hours.

Press Association

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