MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Company allegedly behind meat cartel to be charged soon - deputy minister

A frozen meat importing company believed to be behind an illegal meat cartel will be charged in court soon, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Rosol Wahid.

He said the investigation paper on the company located in Johor Bahru was almost complete as the ministry had obtained results of a meat analysis from the Chemistry Department on Monday (Dec 28).

"When we want to charge (in court) the meat must be sent to the laboratory to be checked whether it is indeed kangaroo meat, horse meat, pork, or any other meat. So it takes time," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating a Food Bank Malaysia programme in Kampung Lubuk Periuk in Terengganu, today.

He added that the Chemistry Department had already assisted by expediting the checks as it was a matter of public concern.

The Hulu Terengganu MP said the company was believed to have repackaged imported meat by imitating the logos of Malaysia's leading frozen meat distributors.

He said the company also was believed to have placed 'Halal' logos, uncertified by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), on the repackaged meat.

Rosol advised the public not to worry, as, based on information from the Department of Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis), the company's distribution market share in the country was less than one percent.

Meanwhile, he said the ministry proposed the use of a QR code system on imported food items, including meat, at all of the country's entry-points to make things easier and more efficient for the authorities.

"Currently, inspections at the country's entry points are done manually, so there is a risk that officers and staff on duty could make mistakes or overlook certain matters," he added.

Meanwhile, Johor police chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the state's police had so far received 15 reports in connection to the illegal meat cartel, including from government agencies and political parties.

He also reiterated the statement by Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador that the main bodies in charge of investigating the matter were the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

On an unrelated matter, Ayob Khan said the Johor police could still cope in terms of manpower although the number of those detected positive for Covid-19 and/or placed under quarantine had been on the rise.

"So far, Alhamdulillah, it (manpower) is still sufficient. We will organise the workflow and (if necessary) we can make use of (personnel from) the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and the General Operations Force," he said.


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