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Johor govt to discuss ‘meat cartel’ issue with relevant agencies – Exco

Kulai – The Johor government will hold a special meeting on Monday (Dec 7) to formulate measures as well as actions to be taken on ‘meat cartel’, believed to be involved in smuggling frozen meat from abroad before repackaging them with the fake halal labels.

State Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Tosrin Jarvanthi said the meeting which involves the state Islamic Religious Department (JAINJ), state Halal Council and all relevant departments including representatives of all ports in the state, will be held soon as it is a serious issues concerning Muslims.

“This issue is very serious because it can cause harm to consumers, not only to Muslims in this state… but also the whole country.

“I will discuss this matter to formulate the framework on the next steps to be taken to stop this ‘meat cartel’ in the state,” he told reporters after inspecting the warehouse of a frozen meat supply company raided by the authorities on Dec 2 at Senai Industrial Park, here, today.

Also present were Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (MAQIS) Department’s Policy and Planning Division director Siti Nur Ahmad and Johor Customs Department’s Enforcement Division senior officer Khalik Drahman.

Tosrin, who is also the state Halal Council chairman, said that a halal directory application will also be developed and expected to be launched in March 2021.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the Johor Customs Department will detain the manager of a frozen meat supply company today on suspicion of being involved in meat cartel activities using fake halal logo.

Khalik said the local male manager, in his 40s, will be detained under the Customs Act 1967 to assist in the investigation.

“At the same time we will also seize three storage containers of frozen meat and chicken without halal logo today, while the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) will seize (meat) affixed with halal logo,” he told reporters in a press conference, at the company warehouse here, today.

He did not rule out possibility of other parties are engaging in such activities due to huge market in the country.

“Based from what we have seen thus far, this company was using Australian products’ repackaging methods. Perhaps, it is to increase the price as people have confidence in Australian products. It is only that we have not found the original packaging of these meats,” he said.

The meat will be sent to the Chemistry Department laboratory soon to determine the types (of meat) before further action can be taken, he said.

On Wednesday, the media reported the meat cartel, with a warehouse in Senai, was found to be smuggling frozen meat from China, Ukraine, Brazil and Argentina before repackaging them with the halal logo and selling it to markets throughout Malaysia. – Bernama

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