Trader has contested charges against him

Trader has contested charges against him

The Dutch trader suspected of being at the heart of last year's horsemeat scandal has been charged by authorities in France.

According to judicial sources, the two magistrates leading the investigation on behalf of a Paris court have charged Jan Fasen, a director of Draap Trading, with "wilful deceit, forgery and falsification of records and professional gang theft".

Fasen's French lawyer said his client had appeared voluntarily before the magistrates following a summons and that he contested the charges levelled against him.

It is thought Draap acted as "middle man" between Romanian slaughterhouses and France where one of Draap's customers was French firm Spanghero.

That company in turn supplied another French firm Comigel, itself a supplier of Findus, which had to recall products across Europe after samples were found to contain horsemeat.

According to reports, Fasen received a one-year jail term in January 2012 after allegedly falsifying papers to deceive customers.