Taiwan tycoon faces 30 years for food scandal
Updated: 2014-10-30 21:43
TAIPEI -- Prosecutors in Taiwan's Changhua county on Thursday filed charges of fraud and breaches of food safety regulations against Wei Ying-chung.
Wei is a major stakeholder of the family-owned food giant Ting Hsin International Group, and, if convicted, could spend 30 years behind bars.
Ting Hsin subsidiaries were found to have used animal feed in cooking oil earlier this month. Wei resigned as chairman of Cheng I Food Co., Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Co. and Wei Chuan Foods Corp., before he was taken into custody on Oct. 17.
Other suspects were also indicted, including Chang Mei-feng, former president of Ting Hsin Oil and Fat, Chen Mao-chia, the company' s acting chairman, and Yang Chen-yi, owner of the Vietnamese trading company Dai Hanh Phuc Co. which allegedly sold the animal feed to Ting Hsin.
Prosecutors are seeking prison terms of 25 years for Chang and 18 years each for Chen and Yang, while asking the court to seize the 440 million New Taipei Dollars (14.67 million U.S. dollars) of profit Ting Hsin made from the adulterated oil.
Although Taiwan is known for its gourmet products, this was the second food scandal to hit the island in less than a month. In September, oil maker Chang Guann Co. was caught using kitchen waste and industrial grease in its lard, causing massive recalls across the island.