Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Men Are Jailed for Passing off Meat as Halal

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Men Are Jailed for Passing off Meat as Halal

Article excerpt

Byline: SUZY GIBSON AND JAMES CAIN james.cain@trinitymirror.com @JIMMYMCAIN

TWO "greedy" businessmen whose scam saw turkey sold as halal lamb meat in Teesside have each been jailed for five years.

Meat importer Mahmudar Rohman and his friend Kamal Rahman were responsible for 160,000kg of non-halal turkey being passed off as boneless halal lamb at wholesaler, butcher's, takeaway and restaurant businesses in Middlesbrough and Leicester. The judge said the trickery had seriously impacted upon victims "financially, culturally and religiously".

One butcher said the defendants had "betrayed all Muslims" and he felt their crime was as serious as "murder".

Rohman, 46, and Rahman, 54, were convicted at Leicester Crown Court of conspiring to defraud customers by making false representations about the kind of meat being sold between 2013 and 2014.

The scam, which netted estimated profits of between PS380,000 and PS700,000, was discovered in the wake of the horse meat scandal, which led to widespread checks being made and turkey DNA being found, said Kevin Barry, prosecuting on behalf of Leicester City Council's trading standards department.

The falsely labelled turkey was traced back to Rohman's now defunct Peterborough-based meat suppliers Dutch Bangla Direct Ltd.

Mauro Maselli, mitigating for Rohman, said that although it was not certified, the turkey meat had "matched halal standards."

He said his client did not have a "lavish lifestyle," he had "limited means" and his family were due to be evicted from their home.

Nenad Spasojevic, for Rahman, said his client played a "subordinate role."

He said Rahman had worked tirelessly in community and charitable work and now faced being "ostracised" and "viewed as a pariah."

Rohman, of Rothbart Way, Peterborough, and Kamal Rahman, of Derby Drive, Peterborough, who denied all allegations and have no previous convictions, were convicted unanimously by the jury of the conspiracy. …

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