The founder and former head of Parmalat was detained on Saturday by Italian authorities investigating how billions of euros went missing at the insolvent global food group, judicial sources said. \nCalisto Tanzi was detained on a street in Italy's financial capital on the order of prosecutors probing for fraud at Parmalat, engulfed in one of Europe's biggest corporate scandals after revealing a multi-billion-euro hole in its accounts. \nThe scandal has raised far-reaching questions about the conduct of the group's managers, auditors and banks. It threatens billions of euros of investments by holders of shares and bonds, as well as some 2 billion more of bank loans. \nThe judicial sources said finance police seized the 65-year-old Tanzi, who stepped down as Parmalat CEO earlier this month days before the crisis erupted, in the center of Milan. \nDetained hours after Parmalat was declared insolvent, Tanzi was held on suspicion of criminal association and fraudulent bankruptcy, but he was not charged, the sources said. The charges carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail. \nMagistrates searched Tanzi's home near Parma on Wednesday and tried to question him the same day, only to find he had left Italy for an undisclosed foreign country. \nAuthorities decided to detain him after he returned to Italy as he could leave again, judicial sources said. \nThey said the media-shy Tanzi would spend the night in custody in Milan's San Vittore prison and was to be questioned in Milan yesterday by investigators from both Milan and Parma. \nTanzi, who took over a dairy plant in 1961 and built it into a global brand, was the first person held in the investigation into fraudulent bankruptcy, fraud, false accounting and market rigging. \nAlthough Tanzi no longer heads Parmalat, his family's holding company, Coloniale, controls the group. \nThe scandal exploded last week when Parmalat, with 35,000 employees in some 30 countries, revealed a hole in its accounts that investigators said could exceed 10 billion euros. \nPublic prosecutors have named about 20 people in the fraud probe, including current and former employees of the group as well as unnamed outside auditors. \nParmalat was declared insolvent earlier on Saturday, three days after the government rushed into effect an emergency decree shielding Italy's eighth largest industrial group from creditors while a new administrator drafts a restructuring plan. \nA bankruptcy court in Parma ruled that Parmalat's main operating arm was insolvent in a move that will allow the global group to continue operations while restructuring and sorting out debts, judicial sources said. \nParmalat says it has 6 billion euros (US$7.46 billion) of debt on its books but some analysts say the figure could be higher. \n"We are working, I hope for the best. We will see if it turns out this way," Parmalat's new administrator Enrico Bondi said on Saturday. \nInvestigators said people questioned earlier this week have toldof a complex web of offshore shell companies hiding losses for more than a decade and overseen by senior executives. \nUS auditor Grant Thornton has rejected allegations it had falsified accounts at a Parmalat unit at the heart of the investigation. Bank of America has filed a criminal suit over the Parmalat case. \nJudicial sources said investigators were probing whether Parmalat funds had been misappropriated by the Tanzi family. Authorities sealed off the family's holding company, Coloniale, this week. \nBondi is keen to keep Parmalat, one of the world's biggest producers of long-life milk and number three US cookie maker, afloat. He has six months to present a restructuring plan that sources said will take into account all creditors' interests. \nIf that plan is rejected by the government, the company would be allowed to collapse and its assets would be sold off.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
People using Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway network and public bus system would no longer be required to wear masks at all times when in stations, metro cars or buses from tomorrow, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) announced yesterday. The mask requirement on public transport in Taipei is being eased on the same day the central government plans to relax disease prevention measures on trains and domestic flights, as there have been no domestic COVID-19 infections in nearly two months, she said. “As long as social distancing can be maintained,” passengers riding the MRT and public buses in the city can remove