Sun, Sep 07, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TAINTED OIL SCANDAL: Main bad-oil suspect detained

FLIGHT RISK:Prosecutors said Kuo Lieh-cheng owns a firm that allegedly supplied Chang Guann Co with tainted oil and he might jump bail or conspire to destroy or alter evidence

By Jason Pan  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Pingtung home of Kuo Lieh-cheng, the main suspect in the ongoing tainted oil scandal, is pictured yesterday. The house has been pelted with eggs and had paint splashed on its facade.

Photo: Yeh Yung-chien, Taipei Times

The Pingtung District Court ruled yesterday that a major suspect in a recycled cooking oil sandal that has rocked the nation in the past few days must be detained.

Kuo Lieh-cheng (郭烈成), 32, was arrested after the scandal broke and was released on bail of NT$50,000 (US$1,672) on Thursday. Prosecutors filed a request with the court on Friday to detain him again, since it was discovered that he had withdrawn his total savings of NT$860,000 after he was released on bail on Thursday.

He appeared at the Pingtung District Court at 3pm yesterday for the detention appeal hearing. The court granted prosecutors’ request to hold him incommunicado on grounds that he might have accomplices and therefore might collude with them to falsify evidence and try to jump bail.

Prosecutors said Kuo owns a company which allegedly supplied tainted oil to Chang Guann Co (強冠企業), a food oil manufacturer in Greater Kaohsiung, and other food and cooking oil manufacturers.

Presiding judge Pan Cheng-ping (潘正屏) said Kuo was in violation of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), and the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), as police found a handgun on his property during a preliminary search earlier this week.

“We consider him at risk of fleeing and he also might collude with accomplices to falsify evidence. So he is now held incommunicado,” Pan said.

Regarding the NT$860,000 that Kuo took out of his bank account after being released on bail on Thursday, he was quoted as saying yesterday that it was to pay off debts.

Meanwhile, Pingtung police said yesterday that during a regular street patrol earlier yesterday morning, they found the front door of Kuo’s house had been splashed with red paint and people had thrown eggs at it.

The family was at home at the time and had not filed a complaint, according to police.

Local media reports indicated it could have been done by local residents who were angry at Kuo over the scandal.

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