Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said only meat produced by abattoirs recognised by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) would be approved for imports to Malaysia.
“We will take action against importers found to have breached import conditions, or are involved in smuggling (import meat) and violating the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures).
He said the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis), which is under the purview of the ministry, would also enhance efforts to curb smuggling of frozen meat and chicken into the country.
“In fact, the recent raid in Johor last month was a result of intelligence and investigation done by Maqis,” he said when contacted today, adding it would continue to work with other enforcement agencies to address the matter, which involve smuggling through transshipment.
Ronald said last year the General Operations Force (GOF) foiled 30 smuggling attempts involving livestock and frozen poultry.
He said the cases took place along the land and river border of Sungai Golok and were handed to Maqis for further action.
Meanwhile, Maqis had in 2019 found an average of 70kg of meat transported in each of the five vehicles plying the green lane at the Sultan Iskandar Building (customs, immigration and quarantine complex), he said.
On the meat cartel issue, he said sources close to the investigation recently revealed that the syndicate members involved in the smuggling activities have decided to hit the brakes following the raid of a warehouse in Senai, Johor, last month.
It was learnt that the cartel had cut down its illicit activities since December to prevent detection, he said.
“The syndicate appeared inactive at the time following the recent raid and the growing public concern over the issue,” he said.
It was reported that the cartel imports meat from slaughterhouses with dubious halal status from a number of countries, bribing senior officers from government agencies in order to sell them off as halal-certified products.