TAIPEI– A Taiwanese man has been detained for hoarding 300 tons of carrots in what authorities say was a bid to manipulate prices.
Investigators in the southern city of Kaohsiung have been probing fruit and vegetable prices, which have remained high since back-to-back typhoons battered Taiwan last month.
Acting on a tip, they found cartons of domestically grown carrots stacked floor to ceiling in a cold-storage warehouse Wednesday.
The alleged hoarder, surnamed Chiang, was taken into custody and later released on NT$100,000 ($3,160) bail, according to prosecutors in Kaohsiung’s Ciaotou district.
Local media cited Chiang, a produce vendor, as denying the accusation. He claims he buys about 1,500 tons of carrots every February and March to be sold throughout the year, according to Apple Daily.
Chiang described the remaining 300 tons as a small amount that should not considered hoarding.
The island’s agricultural sector suffered roughly Tw$3.3 billion ($104 million) in damage from Typhoon Megi.