Taiwan detains Ting Hsin executive over alleged sale of tainted cooking oil

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan prosecutors have detained a key member of the family that controls Ting Hsin Intentional Group over the alleged sale of tainted cooking oil, media reported on Friday, amid Taiwan's second food scandal in less than two months.

Wei Ying-chun, one of the Wei family's four brothers, has been detained on charges of fraud and violating trust, according to TV stations and newspapers.

The High Prosecutors Office said in a statement that it had searched Wei's home.

Ting Hsin is the parent company of Hong Kong-listed Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp and makes China's popular Master Kong instant noodles and beverages. The food scandal has been mainly confined to Taiwan markets, rather than China.

"The State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said that since 2013, China has not imported edible oils from pigs in Taiwan," China's Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement earlier this week.

Ting Hsin's unit, Cheng-I Food Co, is already being investigated on suspicion of mixing animal feed oil with cooking oil and selling it for human consumption, prosecutors have said.

The incident has triggered widespread outrage in Taiwan and led to a boycott of Ting Hsin's products across the island.

Ting Hsin said late on Thursday that it would donate NT$3 billion (S$125 million) to the government to set up a food safety fund.

In September, another company, Chang Guann Co, said it had sold adulterated cooking oil to restaurants, schools and food processors.