China arrests Wal-Mart employees in pork scandal

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 12, 2011 12:04 PM
China arrests Wal-Mart employees in pork scandal

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities in Chongqing arrested two Wal-Mart employees and detained dozens more over a pork sales scandal, state media said on Wednesday, days after ordering 13 of the retail giant's stores in the region to close.

The stores are accused of selling 63,547 kilograms of regular pork wrongly labeled as organic over the last two years.

China's official Xinhua news agency cited local police as saying seven people had been put under house arrest and three had been released on bail in addition to the two employees who were arrested. Thirty-seven people have been implicated in the case so far, the report said.

On Monday, Wal-Mart said in a statement that it had agreed to temporarily close the retail locations for 15 days to "complete comprehensive actions to upgrade the standards" of the stores.

The municipal government of Chongqing, in the southwest of China, will fine the stores 2.69 million yuan ($423,088) after they brought in 730,000 yuan in illegal income, Xinhua said in an earlier report.

Police are still investigating the case, Xinhua said.

A Wal-Mart spokesman said the company was cooperating with the investigation.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Will Waterman)