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Changchi chairman receives prison term of twelve years

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kao Cheng-li (高振利), the chairman of Changchi Foodstuff Factory Co (大統長基), yesterday was sentenced by the Intellectual Property Court (IPC) to 12 years in prison and fined for NT$38 million over Kao's alleged involvement with a polluted cooking oil scandal in 2013. This was the court's second ruling on the matter.

The sentence of 12 years in prison is not subject to appeal. Kao previously was sentenced to 16 years and was fined for NT$50 million by the Changhua District Court in December 2013. Kao immediately filed an appeal against it.

The IPC yesterday explained that, as Kao had confessed his crime and reached a settlement with distributors, it lowered the prison term and the amount of the fine.

The polluted oil scandal surfaced in October 2013, after Changchi's oil products were found to have been polluted with cheap cottonseed oil and sodium copper chlorophyllin — an additive that is not allowed to be added to cooking oil products. The firm was also accused of falsely labeling its products.

Two of Kao's employees, Wen Rui-pin (溫瑞彬) and Chou Kun-ming (周昆明) — who allegedly assisted Kao in blending the oil — were also given reduced sentences of one year and six months and one year and nine months respectively, the IPC said.

Changhua's Public Health Bureau (PHB) said Changchi was fined NT$15.84 million by the bureau, noting that the firm has paid NT$3 million but the firm filed an appeal against the rest of the fine.

After the incident was uncovered in 2013, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) first issued a fine of NT$1.85 billion to the company, however, the ministry retracted its ruling in July.

1 Comment
July 25, 2014    miller.henry641@
Mr. Yu, thank you for the follow-up on this sad incident. This is a journalistic requirement rarely seen here on Taiwan.

What is also sad is the lack of severity in the sentencing of these people who knowingly and intentionally poisoned the users of their products.
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