Vietnam detains coffee plant owner amid alleged battery scam

By Thien Nhan   April 24, 2018 | 08:41 am GMT+7

Police are still clarifying whether her mixture of bean skin and battery chemicals was planned for drinkers.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Loan, owner of the coffee plant which  used battery chemicals to dye coffee in April 2018. Photo by VnExpres/Thien Nhan

Nguyen Thi Thanh Loan, owner of the coffee plant which used battery chemicals to dye coffee in April 2018. Photo by VnExpres/Thien Nhan

Police in the Central Highlands' province of Dak Nong on Monday detained five people for criminal investigation after they were caught dyeing coffee bean skin with battery chemicals.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Loan, owner of a local coffee plant, together with her husband, an employee and two other people are being held over suspicions that they had violated food safety regulations, the police said. The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in jail under Vietnam's Penal Code.

The detentions came after Dak Nong's environmental police and agriculture inspectors raided Loan's establishment on April 16 and found her employee mixing coffee bean skin with a black liquid made from battery powder, and dirt.

Authorities seized 21 tons of the mixture, 192 kilograms (423 pounds) of crushed batteries, 35 kilograms of black powder derived from them and 40 liters (10.6 gallons) of dye liquid during the raid.

Loan said she had sold more than three tons of the dyed coffee bean skin to a yet unidentified trader in the neighboring province of Binh Phuoc over the last three months. However she has yet to clarify if her product would be used in drinks.

At a conference on Monday morning, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged relevant authorities to launch a serious criminal investigation into the case in order to clear the name of Vietnam's clean coffee.

 
 
go to top