Duo guilty of selling 116t of turkey as halal lamb

Two men were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud

Two men have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, after supplying 116t of turkey to butchers and restaurants, claiming it was halal lamb.

The duo’s firm – meat wholesaler Dutch Bangla Direct Ltd – gained between £300,000 and £400,000 from the conspiracy, which ran from January 2013 to October 2014. They were convicted on March 9 at Leicester Crown Court.

The men, Mahmudur Rohman, 46, and Kamal Rahman, 54, were accused of importing boneless turkey thigh pieces for between £1 and £1.50 per kilogram, and selling it as boneless halal lamb leg for between £4.75 and £7 per kilogram.

Leicester City Council Food Safety team led the investigation after it launched a meat-testing programme, following the 2013 horsemeat scandal. The council’s Trading Standards team tracked the lamb to the now dissolved Dutch Bangla Direct Ltd.

‘Forged halal certificates’

Trading standards officers also seized forged halal certificates, the council said.

A Leicester City Council statement said the Dutch Bangla Direct Ltd director Rohman was “found guilty of three counts of selling food not of the nature, quality and substance demanded”.

He was also found guilty of “three counts of giving or displaying food exposed for sale but labelled wrongly, making a false instrument and possessing an article used in fraud, failing to keep a proper traceability of food and failing to notify changes to the food authority,” the council added.

Rahman was found guilty of attempting to pervert the court of justice.

‘A long and complex trial’

A Food Standards Agency spokeswoman said: “We congratulate Leicester City Council on the thoroughness of their investigation, which has enabled the jury to find these two men guilty at the end of a long and complex trial.

“The National Food Crime Unit is keen to hear from anyone who suspects that fraud is taking place in any part of the food industry, and any information provided will be handled with the utmost sensitivity.”

Rohman and Rahman will be sentenced on April 11, at Leicester Crown Court.

Meanwhile, earlier this month bakery retailer Sayers was fined more than £160,000 for 13 food safety breaches.

Dutch Bangla Direct Ltd conviction – at a glance
  • Supplied turkey claimed to be halal lamb
  • Gained up to £400,000 in conspiracy
  • Two found guilty
  • Sentencing on April 11

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