Prosecutors from the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday searched Ting Hsin International Group’s research and examination center in New Taipei City (新北市) in connection with the firm’s role in the adulterated oils scandal.
The office said it is gathering information on the company’s long-term purchasing of Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co oil products, which were confirmed to have been adulterated, and how the oil passed Ting Hsin’s inspection system.
The office said the raid was aimed at determining whether Chang Chi’s products were examined at the center in Xizhi District (汐止) and what processes they were submitted to.
It added that prosecutors had seized several documents and computers from the center, and that five officials working there had been summoned for questioning.
The office suspects that Ting Hsin — the parent company of Wei Chuan and Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Co — may have known that Chang Chi’s products were tainted prior to buying them.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan High Court yesterday rejected an appeal filed by the prosecutors’ office requesting that the High Court order the Taipei District Court to reconsider detaining Ting Hsin oil division director Chang Mei-feng (常梅峰) for his role in the company’s dealings with Chang Chi.
The district court on Saturday rejected prosecutors’ request to detain Chang and released him after the hearing.
The High Court said prosecutors had not provided sufficient evidence showing why Chang needed to be kept into custody.
Ting Hsin chairman Wei Ying-chun (魏應充) was indicted and released on Thursday last week on NT$10 million (US$340,000) bail on charges of fraud, mislabeling products and violating the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法).
In related developments, Nantou County prosecutors searched Sing-lin Foods Corp’s facilities after its instant noodle products were found to contain sodium copper chlorophyllin, a food colorant.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare last week announced that Sing-lin is no longer allowed to put Good Manufacturing Practice certificates on any of its products because the coloring agent — though legal — is only allowed in certain categories of foods, but not noodles.