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Dutchmen in horsemeat scandal also sold 'halal' horse: Report

Published on Feb 14, 2013 5:58 AM
Two horses are harnessed to a cart on a road near Ucea de Jos village, 260 km (159 miles) northwest of Bucharest February 12, 2013. British and European Union officials will try to work out on Wednesday how to contain a scandal over horsemeat sold as beef which has shocked consumers and exposed flaws in European systems of food safety control. The scandal, affecting a growing number of European countries and retailers, began in Ireland when its food safety authority discovered horsemeat in frozen beef burgers. The revelations raised questions about the food supply chain and prompted governments to send out an EU-wide alert. Romania's prime minister said on Monday any fraud over horsemeat sold as beef had not happened in his country and he was angered by suggestions it might have been. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Two businessmen allegedly linked to the growing European horsemeat scandal have previously been convicted by a Dutch court for passing off horse as Islamic halal-slaughtered beef, Dutch media reported on Wednesday.

National public broadcaster NOS said one of the men, identified only as "Jan F.", received a one-year sentence with three months suspended in January 2012, after he sold horse flesh imported from South America as halal-slaughtered Dutch beef.

Jan F. is the director of a Cyprus-based meat trading company called Draap Trading, which various British and Dutch news reports on Wednesday fingered as a suspected link between Romanian abattoirs and a French supplier.

"Draap" is the Dutch word for "horse" (paard) spelt backwards. "Jan F. was the chief suspect in a meat fraud case," the NOS said. "He falsified documents to mislead clients," it added.

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