PORT KLANG: The Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) busted attempts to bring in 51.87 tonnes of frozen chicken without a valid import permit, worth RM818, 508 in the West Port here last Monday.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin (pix) said the food product was detected in an operation at about 10am on two frozen containers from Hong Kong that declared the consignment as wonton noodles.
“Further investigation found boxes containing cut chicken displayed as the raw products were slaughtered in Brazil and Poland, which were not recognised by the Department Of Veterinary Services Malaysia and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).
“The importers were trying to mislead the authorities by declaring the goods as wonton noodles.
“The investigation also found that the company did not comply with the import requirements as the products did not have a veterinary health certificate from the country of origin, as well as a halal certificate,” he said at a press conference here today.
According to Sim, a representative of the company and an agent had their statements recorded for further actions because they failed to comply with the import rules under Section 11 (1) of the Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 (Act 728).
If convicted, one can be fined not more than RM100,000 or imprisoned for a term not exceeding six years or both.
Commenting further, Sim said Maqis was very serious in curbing the importation of frozen chicken without permits and halal status compliance, as it could affect the nation’s biosecurity and food security.
Besides, he said importing chicken without halal certificates would expose risks to the Muslim community of obtaining food that does not comply with Islamic teachings.
Maqis has conducted about 645 raids nationwide involving RM47 million for the offence of importing food items such as vegetables, poultry, meat, fruits, and agricultural material without a permit from January until September.
About 293 compound notices were issued in the same period.
Meanwhile, in another development, Sim said stringent checks were carried out at the country’s border on imported meat and pork products from abroad as a precautionary measure against the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic.
Approximately 4.6 tonnes of meat and pork products were seized without a valid permit from local and foreign visitors for the first nine months, he said, adding Malaysia remains free from the ASF disease for now. — Bernama