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Taiwan court unexpectedly sentences food tycoon to 15 years

A lower court had found Wei Ying-chun not guilty

Ting Hsin tycoon Wei Ying-chun.

Ting Hsin tycoon Wei Ying-chun. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taiwan High Court in Taichung on Friday overturned a lower court not-guilty verdict and sentences Ting Hsin International (頂新) tycoon Wei Ying-chun (魏應充) to 15 years in prison for his part in an adulterated cooking oil scandal.

In 2013-2015, Taiwan was rocked by several scandals involving major companies passing off products unsuitable for human consumption as cooking oil.

Wei, one of four brothers who own Ting Hsin, a group whose interests range from dairy producer Wei Chuan Foods to an interest in Taipei 101, and six other suspects were accused of having imported animal fat products from Vietnam and processed it to sell as cooking oil for human consumption.

The Changhua District Court found Wei not guilty in November 2015, the Central News Agency reported. Judges ruled that prosecutors had been unable to prove that the oil supplied by the Vietnamese company Dai Hanh Phuc had come from problematic pigs or from recycled waste oil, while Ting Hsin had followed internationally acceptable procedures to refine the oil.

However, after studying the case for two years, the Taichung High Court disagreed and found Wei and three other defendants guilty Friday.

Former Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Co. President Chang Mei-feng (常梅峰) was sentenced to eight years and six months in jail, his successor Chen Mao-chia (陳茂嘉) to 11 years and six months, and the Taiwanese manager of the Vietnamese supplier, Yang Chen-yi (楊振益), to eight years and six months. A former chief of Ting Hsin’s oil factory in Pingtung County and its quality control manager were found not guilty, CNA reported.

Updated : 2021-07-24 20:30 GMT+08:00