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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Jail for illegal meat trade man
Carmello Gale (right) and Mohammad Kahn
Carmello Gale (right) and Mohammad Kahn were involved in an illegal meat trade
A man has been jailed for four months after being found guilty of illegally transporting meat that was destined to satisfy demand for a food fad.

Another man was given 140 hours community service and ordered to pay 5,000 for his role in trading in the meat known as "smokies".

The pair were caught when the van they were travelling in crashed into a police vehicle at Bronwydd, near Carmarthen, and officers found 124 illegally slaughtered sheep carcasses in the back.

Jailed Carmello Gale, from Penlan Farchog, Penrhiwllan, Llandysul immediately lodged an appeal against his custodial sentence.

The problem of smokies has become a serious health issue in this area
Philip Davies

Mohammad Kahn, from Haringey, London, had also denied knowingly taking part in the trade.

All carcasses found were smokies, which are prepared by blasting the flesh with a blowtorch.

The preparation technique comes from West Africa but none of the carcasses had stamps to show they were killed in a licensed slaughterhouse, nor had the spinal column been removed, as food standards law requires.

Magistrates in Carmarthen had adjourned sentencing until Friday so they could see a pre-sentence report.

The van in which the illegal carcasses were found
The van in which the illegal carcasses were found

Gales will remain in jail until the appeal against the sentence is heard at a later date.

The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire Council's public protection unit.

After the hearing the authority's Philip Davies said smokies were a popular delicacy in some parts of the country.

"The problem of smokies has become a serious health issue in this area and we are pleased these were found before making their way into the food chain," he said.

"Our prosecution shows we are determined to stamp out the trade and today's sentences should discourage others considering getting involved in this illegal business."


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