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.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters