Authorities raided a warehouse in Senai, Johor on Tuesday, 1 December, after they found it was supplying illegally imported frozen meat with fake halal labels to the local market
According to Sinar Harian, the Malaysian Department of Quarantine and Inspection Services (MAQIS) found that the syndicate, disguised as a frozen meat supplier, has been repackaging non-certified halal meat from China, Ukraine, Brazil, and Argentina, and pasting self-made halal stickers on them.
The operation to uncover the syndicate was led by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and joined by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM), the Johor Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM), and the Johor State Islamic Religious Department (JAINJ).
MAQIS director-general Saiful Yazan Alwi said they seized over 1,500 tonnes of frozen meat worth about RM30 million in the raid
The modus operandi of the supplier was to smuggle unauthorised frozen meat from abroad through the Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Pelepas ports in Johor Bahru
The officials believe that the syndicate widely used fake documents such as custom forms, import permits, halal certificates, and payment receipts to smuggle their products in.
To further confuse the authorities, Saiful said the syndicate also imported meat with valid halal certificates from legitimate sources to be mixed in boxes with the illegal packs of meat before being taken to the Senai warehouse for storage.
The supplier will then convince local wholesalers that their stock of frozen meat was obtained and certified from authorised countries
Saiful explained that investigations are still underway to discover when this syndicate began operating and to track other similar syndicates in the country.
He stressed that MAQIS is taking the matter seriously and legal action will be taken by KPDNHEP.
Meanwhile, a three-decade-old Malaysian brand has been a victim of allegations that it does not sell halal products despite its certification: