Taiwan food company hit with late-night sting

Taiwan food company hit with late-night sting

TAIPEI - The Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) yesterday dispatched investigators to search Wei Chuan Foods Corporation (味全食品) without warning after the firm was found to have used mislabeled oil purchased from Changchi Foodstuff Factory Co. (大統長基食品).

The probe was carried out as the TDPO needed more information on Wei Chuan's involvement in the oil scandal that concerned the false advertisement of many major food manufacturers, and investigate the company's usage of potentially tainted oil.

The prosecution confiscated a case of account books and documents related to Wei Chuan's purchases and sales, and will possibly summon Wei Chuan's higher ranking officials to the Prosecutors Office for detailed questioning.

The prosecutors were divided into three teams in the probe, investigating Wei Chuan's oil factory, food factory and the Wei Chuan headquarters in Taipei; the latter being investigated mainly to find out if the company's former Chairman Wei Ying-chung (魏應充) and the Wei family had knowingly produced oil containing mixed oils from Changchi.

Wei Chuan had been purchasing mixed oil at a cheap price from Changchi six years ago. The TDPO noted its suspicion that Wei Chuan had clearly known of the contents of the purchased ingredients; the surprise search was aimed to secure the company's purchase order reports and budget plans, hoping to confirm whether the documents were approved by the Wei Chuan managing officials and board of directors.

Wei Chuan Declines Comment

Following Tatung Changchi, which was the first oil company to be discovered labeling mixed oil claiming 100-per cent purity, Flavor Full Foods (富味鄉), Formosa Oilseed Processing Co. (福懋油) and Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團) were found to have had a part in the scandal as well. Ting Hsin was recently found to be using oil purchased from Changchi to make 21 different types of cooking oil on behalf of Wei Chuan Foods Corporation.

According to Pingtung District Prosecutors Office chief Tsai Rong-long (蔡榮龍), there are no defendants in the oil scandal case yet, and the seven oil firm officials summoned so far were to be questioned as witnesses. The investigation would not be open to the public, said Tsai.

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