Two Dutch nationals implicated in the European horsemeat scandal were convicted of similar offences last year, according to Nos television.
Jan Fasen, who is now director of Cyprus-based Draap Trading, was given one year in jail, three months suspended, in 2012 for selling South American horsemeat as halal beef. F had forged documents to deceive his customers, Nos said. Draap is the Dutch word for horse backwards.
In addition, a meat trader from Oosterhout was given a community service sentence for his role in the deception. Hans W’s company was also fined for fraud, the Telegraaf reported.
Draap Trading is said to be central in the scandal. According to media reports, it imported 60 tonnes of horsemeat from Romania. Part of that has been stored at the Nemijtek meat trading company in Breda.
Dutch food safety inspectors have visited the Nemijtek plant and taken away samples for testing, local broadcaster Omroep Brabant said on Wednesday. The inspectors also ordered stocks to be retained on site until the tests were competed.
The company told the broadcaster it does stock Romanian horsemeat but it leaves the premises described as horse.
Horsemeat has been found in products said to be 100% beef in Britain, Sweden, Ireland and Poland in recent days. In particular, frozen lasagne from a French firm was found to be up to 100% horse. French officials said last week a Dutch meat trader had a pivotal role in the supply chain.