Former general manager of Ting Hsin International Group’s (頂新集團) oil division Chang Mei-feng (常梅峰) was released yesterday after being questioned overnight by prosecutors in connection with the latest food scandal over edible oil.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office has sought to detain him for his failure to remove suspicions surrounding the company’s business dealing with Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co with regard to tainted oil products, but the request was denied by the Taipei District Court.
According to the district prosecutors’ office, during its four-hour questioning, Chang failed to clarify the process of the company’s long term purchase of Chang Chi’s oil products and how those products all passed the company’s advanced examining system.
The office said it suspected Ting Hsin and its officials, including Chang, might know that Chang Chi’s oil products were tainted prior to purchase.
Chang was charged with fraud, mislabeling products and violating the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法), the office said.
Chang Chi chairman Kao Cheng-li (高振利), who was released on bail by the Changhua District Prosecutors’ Office last month, was also questioned by Taipei prosecutors separately yesterday and was later released.
Chang Chi was found in the middle of last month to have blended cottonseed oil and other cheap oils with its more expensive grapeseed and olive oils. In some cases, it used copper chlorophyllin to make the substitutes look more like olive oil.
Ting Hsin — the parent company of Wei Chuan and Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Co — did not admit that it purchased Chang Chi oil after the scandal first erupted.
Ting Hsin chairman Wei Ying-chun (魏應充) was released on NT$10 million (US$340,000) bail on Thursday over allegations that his company had produced and marketed adulterated oil.
Wei had said that he did not know that Chang Chi’s oil contained the illegal substance copper chlorophyllin until Kao confessed to prosecutors.
The prosecutors charged Wei with fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of five years, mislabeling products and violating the Act Governing Food Sanitation.
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