The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is now involved in the investigation of a syndicate in Johor that specialises in smuggling imported meat into Malaysia and passing them off as halal to the local markets
The syndicate is suspected of bribing senior officers from at least four government agencies to keep a blind eye while operations run undetected.
Harian Metro reported that the case is being investigated under Section 16 and Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009 for corruption as well as forgery of various custom and import documents.
It has also come to light that the meat cartel has been operating in Malaysia for over 40 years
Insider sources told New Straits Times in an exclusive report that the syndicate will bribe officers and agencies based at local ports to approve shipments, not knowing whether the products met quality standards and halal requirements.
The goods would then be taken to local warehouses, where they will be repacked with fake halal logos and then mixed with actual halal-certified meat packages to avoid detection.
"As such, by eliminating the halal-certification process, the cartel stands to make a hefty profit," said the sources.
It was also reported that the meat brought in were often times kangaroo meat, horse meat, and poor quality beef, all sold to unknowing local buyers at attractive low prices.
As investigations are still underway, the name of the frozen food company that the syndicate has been operating under cannot yet be disclosed to the public
According to Harian Metro, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Datuk Rosol Wahid said the name of the supplier will only be revealed after the prosecution process is completed.
He said the case will be taken to court as soon as next week.
In addition to MACC, the operation to uncover the syndicate has been led by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), the Department of Quarantine and Insepction Services Malaysia (MAQIS), the Department of Veterinary Services, and the Royal Malaysian Customs.
Authorities discovered the syndicate's warehouse in Johor this month and seized over 1,500 tonnes of falsely-certified halal frozen foods: