RM57,000 in compounds issued, nine arrested in Bukit Mertajam raid

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Sept 26 — A total of RM57,000 in compounds were issued by the Penang State Health Department (JKNPP) in a joint operation with the Seberang Perai City Council here today.

JKNPP Food Safety and Quality Division Environmental Health Officer Mohd Wazir Khalid said eight Myanmar nationals and a Malaysian were detained during the raid on 13 food premises and grocery stores under the operation codenamed Ops Sapu.

“The inspections found that they did not have valid work permits and failed to produce personal identification documents as well as other documents under Section 4 of the Food Act 1983 which proves that they are legally managing the premises. This case will be handed over to the Malaysian Immigration Department (JIM) for further action.

“Most of the premises raided were run by Myanmar nationals. Most of the products sold are from Myanmar, with various labelling offences,” he said, adding that the 21 compound notices were issued over the matter, while four food premises were ordered to close due to hygiene and health concerns.

Apart from that, he said illegal food and beverage items at nine grocery stores worth RM3860.50 were also seized, including the ‘El Diablo’ branded liquor which has been outlawed in the country.

“I am baffled at how this product can still be in Malaysia, because the government has banned it. The inspections have found that it is still widely available here. We are worried, because this (El Diablo) is among the brands linked to methanol poisoning which caused several deaths last year,” he said. — Bernama

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