A Dutch court on Tuesday jailed wholesaler Willy Selten for two-and-a-half years for selling horsemeat passed off as beef during Europe's massive 2013 meat scandal.
"As boss of two companies he (Selten) was guilty of forging invoices, labels and written declarations and using these forged documents to trade meat," the court in Den Bosch said in its judgement.
Selten, 45, was arrested in May 2013 for allegedly selling 300 tonnes of horsemeat labelled as beef, during one of Europe's biggest ever food scandals.
Dutch prosecutors -- who asked for a five-year-sentence -- suspected Selten of major involvement in the consumer scandal, which prompted recalls of meat products from Ireland to Greece.
Of 167 samples taken by Dutch authorities from Selten's meat supplies in February 2013, 35 tested positive for horse DNA, the court said.
"All these products were sold as pure beef," it added.
At least 336 tonnes of horsemeat passed through Selten's businesses between 2011 and 2012, the court said.
The scandal erupted in Ireland and Britain in January 2013, when it was found that frozen burgers supplied to several supermarkets, including the Tesco chain, contained horse DNA.
Meatballs in Ikea stores, sausages in Russia and frozen burgers in Britain were pulled from the shelves by the millions as a result.
Dutch food and consumer watchdog NVWA arrested Selten on charges of "false accounting and fraud" after an extensive probe.
The NVWA then asked hundreds of companies across Europe supplied by Selten -- who sourced the horsemeat from Ireland and Britain -- to check their products.
In April 2013, Selten failed to quash a massive order by the NVWA recalling 50,000 tonnes of potentially contaminated meat that had passed through his plant.
Thousands of DNA tests on European beef products after the scandal revealed extensive food fraud across the European Union, with almost one in 20 meals marked as beef likely to be tainted with horsemeat.