Man in China sentenced to death for selling illegal cooking oil

Man's brothers also sentenced to life in prison

James Legge
Wednesday 08 January 2014 15:15 GMT
Crackdown: Chinese police inspect illegal cooking oil in 2010
Crackdown: Chinese police inspect illegal cooking oil in 2010

A man in China has been sentenced to death for selling dirty cooking oil, according to state media.

Zhu Chuanfeng's sentence was suspended for two years. According to the Associated Press news agency, such sentences are usually commuted to life imprisonment.

His two brothers, Zhu Chuanqing and Zhu Chuanbo, were sentenced to life in prison and seven others got between five and 15 years for involvement in selling so-called "gutter oil," produced by re-bottling a mixture of waste oil or leftovers from restaurants.

According to the country's state-run Xinhua agency, the brothers invested in an oil plant in 2001 and five years later began to make the illegal oil.

They then sold it to 17 dealers in Shandong and Shanxi provinces, in the country's east, with a value of 52.4 million yuan (£5 million).

A court in Jinan city, eastern Shandong, passed the sentences on Tuesday, with the brothers' seven co-defendants also fined up to 2 million yuan (£200,000) each. The brothers' personal assets were seized, Xinhua said.

The country has been hit with a series of food safety scandals in recent years, with the government passing a tough new law in 2009, promising harsh penalties for offenders.

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