Taiwan tycoon to begin 4 years and 8 months in prison for food safety scandal

Wei Ying-chun's second stint in jail to begin Wednesday Jan. 8

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Wei Ying-chun (left) at the start of a previous prison term in 2017. 

Wei Ying-chun (left) at the start of a previous prison term in 2017.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Wei Ying-chun (魏應充), one of the four brothers who own the Ting Hsin International Group, will start serving four years and eight months in prison for his part in one of several adulterated oil scandals.

A cooking oil company that was part of Ting Hsin and chaired by Wei rebranded low-grade oil imported from Vietnam as cooking oil fit for human consumption. The affair was one of many food safety scandals to break into the open in 2013 and 2014, including the false labeling of cheap oil as more expensive olive oil and the use of oil residue and oil products intended for animal consumption as cooking oil.

Last November, the Supreme Court found the tycoon guilty on seven counts and sentenced him to five years and nine months in prison, with guilty verdicts on 19 other counts involving fines.

Since Wei had already served two years on related charges, the prison term now amounts to four years and eight months, with the sentence to start Wednesday, the court ruled.

The Supreme Court rejected a protest from Wei’s attorneys against the verdict on Jan. 2, ensuring that the tycoon cannot spend the upcoming Lunar New Year at home, CNA reported Tuesday (Jan. 7).

Last November, the court sent 45 other verdicts against Wei back to the High Court for reconsideration, a process that is still ongoing, according to media reports.