AMSTERDAM // The spotlight in the European horsemeat scandal has turned on Cyprus-registered company called Draap Trading Ltd, after it emerged that a man with the same name as its owner was last year convicted by a Dutch court of fraud for passing off horsemeat as beef.
Officials had not named the Dutch company involved, but at a press conference in Brussels, the French minister of consumers, Benoit Hamon, said "there is a Dutch company for which we would like to have more information".
Asked whether that company was Draap, he answered: "Yes."
Draap is "horse" spelt backwards in Dutch.
The owner of a Dutch freezer warehouse where Draap stores much of its meat confirmed that the name of Draap's owner was Jan Fasen.
Court documents in the city of Breda, Netherlands, showed that a Jan Fasen was the main suspect in a case where hundreds of thousands of kilograms of horsemeat or horsemeat mixed with beef were mislabelled as containing only beef and sold to two unnamed French buyers. He was convicted on January 18, last year.
The Dutch national broadcaster, NOS, identified Fasen as the same man but prosecutors and food safety authorities declined to comment.