A WA abattoir has been cleared of prison involvement in WA’s largest ever cattle duffing bust with police saying the meat processor unwittingly bought a few of the allegedly stolen cattle.
When WA Police revealed in February it had launched Operation Topography in response to the cattle theft, it alleged the established prison community comprised people and corporations linked to abattoirs, aerial and floor musterers, livestock trucking firms, truck drivers, inventory brokers, and feedlots.
However The Sunday Instances can reveal abattoirs have been faraway from the checklist of companies below investigation by the Rural Crime Squad.
Police confirmed this week that whereas a meat processing facility at Gingin had dealt with a few of the allegedly stolen cattle, it was not concerned within the alleged theft.
“A few of the allegedly stolen cattle ended up on the abattoir, however it was an unwitting, harmless sufferer and they don’t seem to be a part of the prison community in query,” Det. Sen. Sgt Mark Howes stated.
“The abattoir cooperated and assisted with enquiries.”
Police declined to present names however the one beef abattoir at Gingin is Borrello Beef, operated by Danny, Robert, James and Michael Borrello. Makes an attempt have been made to contact administration.
5 individuals have to this point been charged with a mixed 29 prices in reference to the alleged theft of 803 cattle — sufficient to fill 5 triple highway trains — value an estimated $800,000.
These charged embrace Richard Arends and his associate Rachael Third of Edmund Station within the Higher Gascoyne, inventory agent Daniel Wooden, inventory purchaser and station operator Joshua Abbott, and agricultural supervisor Steven McDowall.
All have appeared in court docket however haven’t but entered pleas and have been launched on bail forward of their subsequent court docket dates
Police say they count on to put extra prices in coming weeks and that the investigation will proceed till the prison community is disbanded.
The alleged cattle thefts centre on the Pilbara, Higher Gascoyne and Wheatbelt, in response to police.