Two men have been arrested in connection with the horsemeat scandal that hit the European food industry earlier this year.

The City of London Police said two men were arrested this week on “suspicion of conspiracy to defraud”. A further two have been interviewed “under caution”, they said, and a number of search warrants were executed at business and home addresses throughout the UK.

“This is an extremely complex investigation covering a number of jurisdictions and a variety of businesses. We are working closely with police forces, other law enforcement agencies and regulators to determine whether horse meat being used in a range of meat products was deliberate and coordinated criminal activity,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Oliver Shaw, from the City of London Police.

The arrests were a result of an investigation, which began in May, the police said, involving its National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

The identity of the two men were not revealed.

The City of London Police said it was initially asked to review all the available evidence that has been collected by law enforcement agencies in the UK and Europe, as well as from the FSA’s own regulatory activity taking place in different parts of the country.