The Horse Trade: Action by the National Veterinary and Phytosanitary Investigation Brigade

Act 1: Suspected Animal ID Fraud

How often the entry into force of the BNEVP is initiated by information from the local management service. In February 2020, the Department of Population Protection (DDPP) of Jura reported that a horse had been taken to the slaughterhouse, the description of which did not match the description in the notebook that came with the animal. In the weeks that followed, veterinary inspection services discovered other questionable or illegal introductions involving the same operator. Identification fraud suspected for equines unfit for slaughter originating in France and other Member States.

Act 2: Joint investigations of the BNEVP and the national gendarmerie.

The investigation continues with the help of the BNEVP and then the national gendarmerie. The preliminary investigation and the commission of inquiry confirm the production and then the use of false documents. They also uncover other offenses committed online. Several people are under investigation: among them is a merchant and a veterinarian. The direction of the investigation of the case is entrusted to the research team of Luan (Sauna-et-Loire).

The first investigations will entail many technical interventions: real-time monitoring of telephone conversations, forensic wiretapping, surveillance….

Act 3: The first search in the east of France

In May 2021, searches were carried out simultaneously in four locations in eastern France: Alsace, Aube, Haute-Saône and Saone-et-Loire. 90,000 euros of criminal assets were confiscated and elements relating to the main characters were identified.

Act 4: Nine months of investigation

At the end of the searches, nine new months of investigation made it possible to identify many victims and confirm the specific and very active participation of seven people in the network.

The latter are more or less suspected of committing the following crimes:

  • fraudulently obtaining an administrative document establishing a right, identity or quality or authorizing:
  • false in an administrative document by a civil service official;
  • false in a commonly committed administrative document;
  • misleading about the nature, essential quality, origin or quantity of the goods;
  • performance of hidden works;
  • slaughter of animals outside the slaughterhouse under illegal conditions;
  • breach of trust;
  • fraud.

Act 5: Massive legal operation

At the beginning of March 2022, a large-scale judicial operation was launched under the leadership of the Loing Gendarmerie Company, which involved the BNEVP, the Investigation Unit of the National Gendarmerie of Dijon, as well as investigators from the Gendarmerie Group of the Department of Saone and the department. . Thirty gendarmes were mobilized on this occasion. As part of this operation, seven people were detained.

Act 6: Four accusations

It is here that the action of the BNEVP comes to an end: the four defendants finally appear before the magistrate for arraignment. Requires strict judicial control with the introduction of bail with a ban on the continuation of their activities.

What are the objectives of the BNEVP?

The National Veterinary and Phytosanitary Investigation Team (BNEVP) is the investigative arm of the Directorate General of Food (DGAL) of the Department of Agriculture and Food.

Its about twenty employees work throughout France to combat organized crime, in particular food trafficking, pet identification, live animal and plant health, veterinary drugs and banned or falsified phytopharmaceuticals.

BNEVP is constantly handling about a hundred cases. It receives an average of 50 new cases each year, the vast majority of which are for the legal world.

Learn more about BNEVP tasks

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