A member of staff at the Hebei Xueyang Glair Gelatin Factory was detained by police Saturday evening, after allegedly setting fire to the plant on instructions amid scandal of contaminated drug capsules.
A member of staff at the Hebei Xueyang Glair Gelatin Factory was detained by police Saturday evening.[Photo/Xinhua]
The scandal started with a report broadcast on China Central Television (CCTV), which showed that the plant provided industrial gelatin to medicine capsule production companies last Sunday. There was public uproar at the scandal.
In a bid to destroy the evidence and escape from punishment resulting from this nationwide scandal, Song Jiangxin, former chairman of the National People's Congress of Wangji Village, Fucheng County and brother of Song Haixin, the legal representative of Xueyang Glair Gelatin Factory, encouraged Liu Aiguo, who worked at the plant, to start a fire.
Song hoped that this fire would destroy computers, account books and files in the plant, and destroy any connections to the scandal, the local Public Security department said.
Liu initially escaped out the back gate of the plant, the police said, before he was apprehended.
Song Jianxin has had his Communist Party of China (CPC) membership and administrative position revoked.
Both Song and Liu are in police custody pending further investigation, the police said.
The factory was established in 2004 with registered capital of 2.1 million yuan (332,592 U.S. dollars), and had an annual production capacity of 280 tonnes, employing 32 workers. Its products, mainly industrial gelatin, were sold to other factories in Beijing, Changzhou and Xiamen, as well as buyers down in Zhejiang province.
Chinese police have detained 53 suspects and closed 10 industrial gelatin and gel capsule factories believed to have been involved in producing contaminated medicine capsules, said the Ministry of Public Security in statement on Thursday.
The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) said Saturday that it has sent more inspection teams to investigate the incident of contaminated drug capsules and establish who is responsible.
Inspection teams from several departments, including the police, health authorities and supervision agencies, have been sent to Zhejiang, Hebei and Jiangxi provinces to supervise the investigation of the case, according to a statement from the SFDA.
Supervision agencies have started investigation into officials who may have neglected their duty in this case, it added.
The SFDA also promised to inform the public of the findings of the investigation.