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News 745 views last update:Oct 12, 2007

Fraud uncovered at Tönnies causes upset

Tönnies Fleisch, the biggest German pig slaughterhouse, has been suspected of fraud causing much upset in the pig processing industry.

The company has been implicated in a series of suspicious deals such as interfering with weighing machinery, bad handling of subsidies in conjunction with trade in the Russian market, having illegal employees and money laundering.

The above led to a big raid of all branches of Tönnies and the arrest of managerial personnel.

Although charges have not yet been brought formally against Tönnies, the company's reputation will inevitably be damaged through this action.

Der Spiegel investigation
Der Spiegel, the German magazine, added fuel to the fire by reporting that this investigation had been prompted by action of a former manager at Tönnies who was fired for fraud and is now employed by the largest Dutch competitor - Vion.

Tönnies succeeded last year in fighting off a takeover bid from Vion and Der Spiegel is now referring to a 'war among the pig barons.'

Tönnies admits that this may be a case of sabotage.

Distress
What is certain is that this affair has caused much distress to German pig processors. 10% of pigs in the Federal Republic are slaughtered by Tönnies.

The Ministry of Justice expects an update on this case by end November. ISN, the German pig processors' association has been following the case carefully. President of the association, Detlef Breuer, commented that any suspicion of interference with the weighing apparatus "would have come to light earlier by the Association."

Pig processors, for now, will come doing business with Tönnies.

Related websites:
• Tönnies Fleisch
• ISN

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