Calisto Tanzi, the founder and former CEO of scandal-hit Italian food group Parmalat, has been taken from prison to a hospital for tests, his lawyer has said.

Fabio Belloni said his client, who has previously suffered from heart problems, was taken to a Parma hospital for tests after saying he felt unwell, reported Reuters.

Tanzi was arrested on 27 December as part of an investigation into a multi-billion-euro black hole in Parmalat’s accounts.

Investigators believe Tanzi siphoned off several hundred million euros from Parmalat into family-owned businesses.

Tanzi’s brother Giovanni was among eight people arrested earlier this week as part of the ongoing investigation, bringing the total number of people arrested as part of the Parmalat probe to 18.

Two of Tanzi’s children, Stefano and Francesca, were among those detained in the latest round of arrests. Francesca Tanzi was a member of the board of Parmatour, the family’s travel operator, while Stefano served on the board of Parmalat and related companies.