Taipei prosecutors yesterday filed an application with the Taipei District Court to detain a gas station operator accused of adding methyl alcohol to gasoline before selling it to his customers.
Taipei District Prosecutors Office spokesman Lin Ching-tsun (林錦村) told a press conference yesterday that "Taipei prosecutors applied to the Taipei District Court to detain gas station manager Wang Chen-hai (王鎮海) as they were concerned that Wang may flee or conspire with other defendants if he is able to talk with them."
Lin said Wang turned himself in to prosecutors yesterday morning.
During questioning, Wang admitted buying approximately 36,000 liters of methyl alcohol from a company in Changhwa County between Aug. 10 and early September, Lin said.
Lin also said Wang told prosecutors he sold gasoline that contained between 10 percent and 15 percent methyl alcohol.
Wang told prosecutors that he had tested his own car with the gasoline-methyl alcohol mix before he started selling it to the public and found there were no problems.
Wang said he had made around NT$500,000 (US$15,000) in profit from the illegal act.
Lin said prosecutors suspected the company in Changhwa and other companies of selling methyl alcohol to other gas stations around the country and have broadened their investigation.
He said Wang's wife, who is also a suspect in the case, reported to prosecutors yesterday afternoon.
Wang, who ran the Heng Chia Gas Station on Wanfang Rd in Taipei City, formerly a CPC Corp, Taiwan filling station, was caught selling gasoline mixed with methyl alcohol.
State-run CPC, the nation's largest petroleum refining company, canceled its contract with Heng Chia on Oct. 23, but the station was allowed to retain its CPC signs.
Last week, following customer complaints that the gasoline was substandard, CPC took gasoline samples at the station and sent them for laboratory analysis.
The results showed that the gasoline contained 10 percent methyl alcohol.
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