Date
17 December 2017
Yuen Long-based Po Yuen Lard Co.is said to supplied lard to Globalway Corp, which in turn exported the product to Taiwan's scandal-hit Chang Guann. Photo: RTHK
Yuen Long-based Po Yuen Lard Co.is said to supplied lard to Globalway Corp, which in turn exported the product to Taiwan's scandal-hit Chang Guann. Photo: RTHK

HK trading firm snared in Taiwan ‘gutter oil’ scandal

Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety has identified the trading firm that is said to have supplied lard to Chang Guann, the Taiwanese edible oil maker that is at the center of a ‘gutter oil’ scandal.

The food safety watchdog has named Globalway Corp. as the entity that exported lard to Chang Guann after procuring the product from a local firm, according to Apple Daily. Globalway is alleged to have sold lard oil meant for use in animal feed, using fake documentation.

Having identified the source of the shipment, the food safety center plans to take legal action against the firms involved, the report said. 

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration looked into data records and found that Chang Guann had imported a total of 2,385 metric tons of lard in 56 batches from Hong Kong between 2008 and 2011. It imported another two batches, totaling 87 metric tons, in March and May this year from Globalway, according to Dr. Ho Yuk-yin, a consultant at the Center for Food Safety.

Although Globalway’s supplier put in the transaction documents that the lard was for the purpose of animal feed and was not edible, investigations by the center revealed that Globalway changed the documents to label the lard “edible” before reselling it to Chang Guann, the report said.

The supplier was at the same address as Yuen Long-based Po Yuen Lard Co. that specializes in producing lard oil, lard and poultry oil, which are mainly exported to mainland China and Taiwan.

Ho said there is no evidence so far showing that Globalway had sold non-edible lard in Hong Kong. However, further investigations are required, he said.

As the Hong Kong government has never put restrictions on lard exports, Ho said his agency is now consulting the Department of Justice to determine what rule Globalway may have violated. A criminal probe on the company is not ruled out, he said.

One director at Globalway said on Wednesday that the firm has been procuring oil from Po Yuen but had no idea that the latter made oil for industrial use. He admitted that Globalway and Chang Guann had planned to set up an oil processing plant in Hong Kong.

Kwok Ka-ki, a member of Legislative Council’s Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene, was quoted as saying that the police or the Customs should investigate Globalway as the case involves crimes of forgery or violation of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.

He also said that investigations should cover a longer timeframe, instead of having March as the starting point as the Taiwan authorities did.

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TL/AC/RC

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