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Malaysia meat cartel: 4 remanded in Johor as probe continues

Malaysia meat cartel: 4 remanded in Johor as probe continues

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested four individuals from a frozen meat importing company in Johor on Jan 3, 2021. (Photo: Bernama)

JOHOR BAHRU: Four individuals from two frozen meat import companies were remanded for four days by the Magistrate’s Court in Johor on suspicion of being involved in corrupt activities, as investigations continue over the smuggling of frozen meat.

Three of the suspects - two men and a woman - were the director, managing director and a clerk of one of the companies, while the other was a director of the other company. 

The remand order was issued by Assistant Registrar Nur Izzaty Muhammad on Monday (Jan 4) to allow the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe further into the case under Section 17b of the MACC Act 2009.

All of them, aged between 39 and 50, were detained at the Johor MACC office on Sunday night to assist in the ongoing investigation.

READ: SFA, MUIS looking into concerns that alleged Malaysian 'meat cartel syndicate' has affected Singapore

There have been reports in Malaysia regarding an alleged meat cartel syndicate that smuggled, repacked and relabelled non-halal frozen meat items as halal-certified for sale in the country. 

According to the media reports, the cartel brought in frozen meat from China, Ukraine, Brazil and Argentina, and repackaged the meat using the halal logo at a warehouse in Senai, Johor.

A raid was carried out last month and 1,500 tonnes of frozen meat worth RM30 million (US$7.5 million) had been seized, according to the New Straits Times. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has ordered a special report on the scandal to be submitted to the government, said Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (MAQIS) director-general Saiful Yazan Alwi

The MACC said in an earlier statement that they had identified the frozen meat importers believed involved in the corrupt activities.

They said this was made possible with the cooperation from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, the Department of Veterinary Services, MAQIS and the Customs Department.

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