A truck driver in southern Vietnam said he has found a fly-like object in a Number One energy drink bottle, adding complexity to a food safety saga that has already seen one customer arrested for extortion.
Police in Tien Giang Province on Monday sent the bottle that Nguyen Xuan Dinh said he had bought from a nearby café to the lab for examination.
The bottle was sealed under the witness of Dinh's family and local authorities, police said.
Dinh said he bought several bottles of the popular energy drink from the café around three months ago.
After seeing something that looked like a fly in one of the bottles, he contacted the maker, Tan Hiep Phat Beverage Corp, with an intention to “exchange the bottle for a few Number One cases to drink.”
The company sent a representative to meet him and collect the bottle, but Dinh refused to hand it over.
The representative left and there has been no feedback so far, his family claimed.
Genuine or not?
The café owner Phan Kim Loan confirmed that Dinh bought a few bottles there.
The glass bottle indicates manufacturing date of July 3, 2014 and expiring date of July 3, 2015.
A Tan Hiep Phat spokesperson told Thanh Nien that the company would be willing to cooperate in protecting customers’ rights when they make a complaint.
However, Tan Hiep Phat has been "cheated" in some cases, especially with glass bottles that can be opened and recapped easily, the spokesperson said.
Earlier, Vo Van Minh, also in Tien Giang Province, had called the company to complain about a fly in a Number One bottle, demanding VND500 million (US$23,425) in compensation.
The company secretly reported the case to police and sending a representative to meet the 35-year-old customer.
Police arrested Minh on January 27 while he was receiving the hush money.
Initial investigation found that the plastic bottle could have been tampered with since the cap appeared slightly distorted.
The case has attracted controversy as many accused Tan Hiep Phat for entrapping the customer, by offering him compensation and at the same time working with the police on the back end.
With the new claim from another customer, the company's food safety practice is once again open to question.