Grape King food scandal expands to real estate

Prosecutors raid home of company chair's sister

Tseng Mei-ching (left) and Tseng Sheng-lin (right). (By Central News Agency)

        TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Members of the family running health food group Grape King Bio Ltd. faced further questioning Tuesday as the scandal involving the alleged relabeling of expired products expanded to include a real estate deal.

.       When the allegations first broke in late December, executives blamed the issue on malicious rumors originating from a family feud. The elder son of the founder had reportedly been bypassed in favor of a younger son to take over as company CEO, reports said.

        However, employees of the Taoyuan-based biotechnology group later told investigators they had been ordered by higher-ups to put new labels on health products nearing their expiry date, reports said.

        As a result, company chairman Tseng Sheng-lin, a sister and seven others were listed as defendants for alleged violations of the Act Governing Food Sanitation by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

        On Tuesday, the case took a new step forward when investigators raided five locations, including the home of Tseng’s sister, General Manager Tseng Mei-ching, in connection with alleged illegal practices surrounding the purchase of offices in Taipei City’s Neihu District, reports said.

        A first round of questioning on December 29 had resulted in the release on bail of six employees in connection with the alleged relabeling, with Tseng Sheng-lin and other member of staff following suit one day later, and Tseng Mei-ching being listed as a defendant.

        Prosecutors reportedly still had unanswered questions about the practices at Grape King, necessitating the round of raids and questioning launched Tuesday.