A plot to pass horsemeat off as beef fell apart after horse
identification chips were found in the meat by inspectors, a
court has been told.
Andronicos Sideras, 54, has been accused of deliberately mixing
up the meats before they were sold in 2012.
Mr Sideras was one of the owners of meat company and sausage
manufacturer Dinos & Sons.
The businessman, from Southgate, north London, denies conspiracy
to defraud between 1 January and 30 November 2012.
Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said alarm bells were raised after
Dinos "messed things up" when assembling an order.
A surprise inspection was triggered when the wrong size of
shipment was sent to a company called Rangeland in Newry,
Northern Ireland, in 2012, Inner London Crown Court was told.
The 12-pallet load was analysed and four of them contained horse.
Mr Polnay said: "Some of them were found to contain significant
amounts of horsemeat; roughly about a third contained horse."
It is alleged Mr Sideras mixed meat in this way before it was
sold on to manufacturers making products for "a vast range of
Mr Sideras's fingerprints were found on "fake" labels, the court
Mr Polnay added: "The final piece of the jigsaw is that when the
meat was analysed, three horse ID chips were found in some of
The chips were roughly the size of a 1cm grain of rice - two of
which were Polish and one Irish.
It is alleged Danish-owned company Flexi Foods would buy
horsemeat and beef from suppliers across Europe and then deliver
to Dinos & Sons in Tottenham, north London.
Mr Polnay said the fraud could not have worked or taken place
without the "connivance" of Mr Sideras.
He said: "The meticulous records kept by FlexiFoods caused their
undoing. They also provide compelling evidence of the guilt of
He told the court that two men, Ulrik Nielsen, 58, the owner of
FlexiFoods, and his "right-hand man", Alex Beech, 44, have
already pleaded guilty to the same charge.
The trial continues.