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Food & Beverage

Conglomerate Salim caught up in Indonesia's cooking oil crisis

Govt cracks down on alleged hoarders as record prices hit top palm oil country

Rising prices for cooking oil were a major contributor as Indonesia recorded its highest inflation rate in 20 months in January.   © EPA/Jiji

JAKARTA -- The cooking oil crisis in Indonesia, the world's largest producer of palm oil, is taking a new twist as allegations emerge of companies hoarding the commodity to sell at higher prices -- including one affiliated with Salim Group, one of the country's largest conglomerates.

Salim Invomas Pratama -- a palm oil subsidiary of the conglomerate best known as one of the world's biggest producers of instant noodles -- is under the spotlight after a local food task force discovered 1,100 tons of cooking oil during an impromptu inspection at the company's warehouse in Deli Serdang area of North Sumatra Province. Police said it could be a case of hoarding with perpetrators facing up to five years in prison and or having to pay up to 50 billion rupiah ($3.5 million) in fines if guilty.

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