NICOSIA, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- A Cyprus registered company originally blamed for starting the horsemeat scandal across Europe cannot be held responsible in any way, authorities in Nicosia said on Saturday.
"We made a thorough examination of the company's documents and we have established that it had acted legally and properly all the way," said George Kyriakides, director of the Veterinary Services at the Ministry of Agriculture.
He said the Dutch company, Draap Trading Limited, had placed an order for horsemeat with a Romanian horse slaughter house and a meat cutting establishment, which are registered as horsemeat facilities under EU rules.
Kyriakides said the meat purchased by Draap Trading, registered in Cyprus' southern port city of Limassol and operates from premises in Belgium, from the Romanian facilities was mislabeled on the way to its destination, but he could not say where.
"It is up to the authorities of other European countries involved to investigate the labeling of the meat," he added.
French authorities have said that well-known Spanghero company based in the south of the country knowingly sold as beef what could have been horsemeat, something which the company strongly denied.
Meanwhile, a Cypriot public health official said 16.5 tonnes of hamburgers had been destroyed by a Cypriot importer after the scandal started in Ireland.
He added that further examinations were under way to establish whether the meat products of the company were in any way contaminated with harmful medication given to horses.