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Prosecutors to indict Wei over oil scandal

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
By Queena Yen, The China Post


TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei District Prosecutors Office recently inspected Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團) and collected evidence pertaining to the latest oil scandal, saying yesterday that they will soon present an indictment against former Ting Hsin CEO Wei Ying-chung (魏應充) for fraud and other crimes.

According to prosecutors, Wei ordered the company to buy low-quality materials for making edible lard products and schemed to earn illegal profits from it. All these actions are considered criminal offenses.

Prosecutors said that they started their investigation into Ting Hsin during the oil scandal last year. Although Wei claimed he is a victim and blamed the supplier Tatung Changchi Foodstuff Factory Co. (大統長基食品) for the oil scandal last year, new evidence tells a different story. The meeting records, which prosecutors found in Ting Hsin's offices, shows that Wei ordered his company to buy oil from Tatung Changchi to cut down on costs.

Prosecutors also searched Wei Chuan's factory in Taichung City and Wei Chuan's lab in New Taipei City for further evidence.

If all goes as planned, then Taipei District Prosecutors Office will be the first prosecutors' office to indict Wei over the oil scandal revealed last week.

Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) stated that every local prosecutors' office has been working on this case over the long weekend for National Day. She said that the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office will coordinate with each office and find out the truth.

As for summoning Wei for further questioning, Luo stated that Wei will not get away easily. Although Wei may keep good relations with the relevant authorities, prosecutors will fulfill their duties and investigate the case fairly.

Apart from Wei, who will only be released on NT$10 million bail for this case, there are other people who are going to be indicted soon, including Wei Chuan General Manager Chang Chiao-hua (張教華) and former General Manager of Ting Hsin Oil & Fat Industrial Co. Chang Mei-fend (常梅峰). They will each post a NT$5 million bail. Prosecutors said they violated the Criminal Code of the Republic China and the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation.

Regarding the oil scandal, the Department of Health for Kaohsiung City Government (DOH) yesterday also levied a NT$50 million fine on Cheng-I Food Co. Ltd. (正義股份有限公司). According to the DOH, the company was discovered to have mixed animal feed oil with cooking oil and sold it on the market, damaging national food safety.

After demanding that the company recall all its products and terminate its operations over the past few days, the DOH decided to issue more fines to the company based on Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation.

Local Government Seizes 79 Oil Tanks

Chiayi County Health Bureau yesterday seized 79 oil tanks belonging to Yung Cheng (永成物料公司) and Jiou Feng (久豐油脂廠) and terminated their businesses for six months. In addition, the Health Bureau also issued a NT$30 million fine to each company based on the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation.

Health Bureau Deputy Director-General Tsai Shu-jen (蔡淑真) stated that these two companies should not operate until April 12, 2015. If they start their businesses beforehand without permission, the government will revoke their licenses.  

According to prosecutors, seven people have so far been detained over this oil scandal, including the owner of Yung Cheng, the owner of Jiou Feng and Ting Hsin Oil & Fat Industrial Co.'s former general-manager.

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