Peterborough businessmen guilty of halal meat fraud
Two men who supplied over 100 tonnes of turkey mince they claimed was halal lamb have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud.
Mahmudur Rohman, 46, of Rothbart Way, Peterborough and Kamal Rahman, 54, of Derby Drive, Peterborough sold the meat to butchers and restaurants.
The 21-month deception was uncovered by Leicester council's trading standards.
Rohman and Rahman were convicted at Leicester Crown Court. They will be sentenced on 11 April.
The investigation began after the Leicestershire Food Safety team started a programme of testing in 2013, in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.
This revealed meat being supplied to businesses as lamb was in fact turkey.
Leicester City Council's trading standards traced the "lamb" to Peterborough-based Dutch Bangla Ltd, whose director was Mahmudar Rohman.
The meat was being sold to butchers, wholesalers and restaurants in and around Leicestershire and as far as Middlesbrough and Portsmouth.
Trading standards officers also seized a forged certificate which said the meat had been certified as halal - meaning it had been slaughtered according to Islamic ritual and was suitable for consumption by Muslims.
They estimated Dutch Bangla Ltd made a profit of between £300,000 and £400,000 between January 2013 and October 2014.
Rohman was also found guilty of three counts of selling food not of the nature, quality and substance demanded, three counts of giving or displaying food exposed for sale but labelled wrongly, and making a false instrument and possessing an article used in fraud.
Rahman was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Mohammed Anwarul Hoque, 56, and Mohammed Zunaid Hoque, 35, both of Uplands Road in Leicester, were cleared of fraud.