A Local Businessman Has Been Arrested For Selling Dates Imported From Israel

Medjool dates, also spelt medjoul or mejhoul, are largely produced in Israel.

Cover image via Faiz Anuar/New Straits Times

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On Tuesday, 12 March, the Customs Department seized packets of 'Organic Jumbo Medjool Dates' that were imported from Israel

According to Customs Department deputy director-general (Enforcement/Compliance) Datuk Sazali Mohamad, they seized 73 packets of dates, which cumulatively weighed 14.6kg and were valued at RM678.

He said three premises in Petaling Jaya and Klang were raided by the Central Zone Unit II (Selangor) after a video alleged that several shops were selling dates from Israel, reported the New Straits Times.

He mentioned that the dates were classified as foodstuff upon being imported into Malaysia.

Medjool dates, also spelt medjoul or mejhoul, are largely produced in Israel, with the country holding over 60% of the global medjool market share, making it the largest exporter of these dates in the world.

A business owner in his 40s was also arrested in connection with the case

The business owner is a local man.

According to Sazali, the dates were brought into the country in a sack and later repackaged to be sold. He warned that authorities would not hesitate to take action against anyone else found selling the same dates.

"They were being sold at prices ranging from RM20 to RM30 per pack," he said.

"Based on our checks, the dates were brought to Malaysia in 2022 with other food items," he told reporters, urging anyone with information on such products to contact the Customs Department.

The case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967, which pertains to the possession of prohibited goods

The offence is punishable by a fine of up to 20 times the value of the seized item, or a maximum of three years' imprisonment or both, upon conviction.

He added that importing any product from Israel to Malaysia requires a special permit from the Investment, Trade, and Industry Ministry, reported Harian Metro.

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