4-day remand for 4 directors, staff of frozen meat import companies
Bernama -January 4, 2021 2:51 PM
JOHOR BAHRU: Four individuals, including directors of two companies involved in the import of frozen meat, were remanded for four days from today by the Magistrates’ Court here on suspicion of being involved in corrupt activities on the issue of smuggling frozen meat, early last month.
The remand order was issued by assistant registrar Nur Izzaty Muhammad to allow the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe further into the case under Section 17b of the MACC Act 2009.
Three of the suspects – two men and a woman – were the director, managing director and a clerk of one of the companies and were represented by lawyer Wan Muhd Ariff Ameer Wan Normazlan, while the other suspect was a director of the other company and was represented by lawyer Yap Che Kai.
All of them, aged between 39 and 50, were detained at the Johor MACC office last night to assist in the ongoing investigation.
Monday, 04 Jan 2021 05:39 AM MYT
BY R. LOHESWAR AND SHAHRIN AIZAT NOORSHAHRIZAM
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — The recent halal “meat cartel” scandal that blew up nationwide came as no surprise to many local butchers in Klang Valley recently polled by Malay Mail.
Speaking during our visit to wet markets, the butchers polled mostly said they have been suffering in silence for years knowing the existence of the purported cartel, and were left disappointed with the authorities’ lackadaisical attitude towards the syndicate.
Zamry Shahbhari, a butcher in the Petaling Jaya Old Town wet market, related that local butchers have been aware that there were companies bringing in more meat than they practically could, but said no action was taken despite them lodging complaints.
“I’m sorry to say but I feel what the government is doing right now to tackle this issue is a load of crap. I don’t want to mention which minister but we know who it is and they were doing a piss pot job of it.
We’ve been hearing about this illegal meat trade for years and local breeders have made police reports but nothing came of them,” Zamry lamented.
“Instead we’re hearing about this company in Johor, Raihanah Cold Storage Sdn Bhd, and the husband and wife being charged for involvement in this illegal business. What’s the point? These are small fries, the bigger culprits are still out there,” he added.
Zambry was referring to a frozen meat supplier, whose directors were charged in the Johor Baru Sessions Court last week following the media exposé of a purported syndicate that repackaged non-halal meat with halal meat.
KUALA LUMPUR – A frozen meat company in Johor said to be linked to a syndicate which is being probed for allegedly importing frozen meat and passing it off as halal will be charged in court on Wednesday (Dec 30).
A total of 13 police reports have been lodged over the syndicate, which used fake halal labels, Criminal Investigation Department director Huzir Mohamed said on Tuesday (Dec 29).
“We are investigating under…the Penal Code for causing public fear and alarm,” he said in a statement.
The syndicate has also “disrupted public order… and tarnished the nation’s image as a halal hub,” he said.
Malaysians were last week shaken by reports that a fake halal meat syndicate has purportedly been operating for 40 years by bribing officers with money and sex to allow non-certified meat including potentially diseased kangaroo and horse meat to be smuggled in from overseas and sold as certified halal beef.
Initial investigations revealed that the illegal activity involved a wide network with local and foreign syndicates, said Datuk Huzir.
“We are looking at this matter seriously and we are committed to curbing this activity by cooperation with various agencies including the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and the Customs Department,” he added.
The issue came to light after reports earlier this month that the authorities had busted a company that had been bringing in meat from Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina and China and repackaging it with fake halal labels.
Some 1,500 tonnes of frozen meat worth RM30 million (S$9.8 million), fake labels and rubber stamps were seized during the raid at a warehouse in Senai, Johor.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Rosol Wahid told the Upper House on Tuesday that the seized meat has been tested.
“The findings we got from the Department of Chemistry Malaysia showed that it was not horse meat, not kangaroo meat and not pork,” he said in Parliament.