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Meat cartel: Four MAQIS officers, company owner charged (Updated)

23 May 2021 / 20:52 H.

JOHOR BAHRU: Four assistant enforcement officers of the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (MAQIS) and a company owner were charged in the Sessions Court here today with corruption and submitting false information in a meat cartel case.

Two of the MAQIS officers — Mohd Hafizan Khalid, 44, and Nor Azlan Mat Suki, 40, — the company owner, Abdul Latif A Rahman, 55, pleaded not guilty to the charges after they were read out separately before Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail.

The other two other MAQIS personnel — Mohammad Sofyan Mohd Zin, 27, and Khairul Izat Sulaiman, 31,- pleaded guilty to the charge made against them. The court set 2.30 pm today to sentence them.

Khairul Izat, who was represented by counsel S. Selvam was fined RM1,500 or one-month jail if he failed to pay the fine. Mohd Hafizan, Nor Azlan, Abdul Latif and Mohammad Sofyan’s case would be mentioned on June 29.

Mohd Hafizan was alleged to have received RM2,500 in gratification from an individual to release a container carrying frozen meat that arrived from a country not recognised by the Veterinary Department which belonged to Syarikat ZS Armin Sdn Bhd.

He was charged with committing the offence at a restaurant here in Dec 2016.

Nor Azlan was charged with five counts of accepting gratification, amounting to RM37,000, for allegedly doing the same, at a restaurant here between Feb and April 2017.

The charges against them were framed under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

As for Abdul Latif, he was charged with two counts of submitting documents with false information in the declaration forms for imported goods with the intention of deceiving the principal agent between Oct 5 and Nov 9, 2020 at Wisma Kastam, Tanjung Pelepas Port.

The charge was made under Section 18 of the MACC Act, which also provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

He was also charged with two alternative charges with submitting the false information under Section 471 of the Penal Code, which provides an imprisonment for up to two years, or fine, or both, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Sofyan and Khairul Izat were charged with accepting RM30 and RM100 in gratification on Oct 5 and Nov 10, 2020, respectively, to expedite document and physical examination of consignments at the MAQIS office at the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex, Iskandar Puteri.

They were charged under Section 25(1) of the MACC Act and faced a maximum fine of RM100,000, or imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both, if found guilty.

Mohd Hafizan and Nor Azlan, represented by lawyers Mohd Razak Sharif and Peter Tan, respectively, were allowed bail of RM7,000 in one surety each, while Abdul Latif, represented by lawyer S.Vijaya, was allowed bail of RM8,000 with one surety and also ordered to surrender his passport to the court.

Mohammad Sofyan, who was ordered to appoint a lawyer, was allowed bail of RM5,000 with one surety.

Their cases have been fixed for mention on June 29.

Deputy public prosecutors from MACC, Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Suhaili Sapun, prosecuted in all the cases. — Bernama

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