KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — Frozen food giant Ramly Food Processing Sdn Bhd (RFPSB) today assured Malaysians that its food imports are all certified halal by none other than the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).

Its founder and managing director Datuk Ramly Mokni said all of RFPSB’s food imports were sourced directly from suppliers overseas and not through middlemen, amid a “meat cartel” scandal that grabbed headlines last week.

“RFPSB only imports meat and other raw ingredients direct from overseas suppliers that are monitored periodically by Jakim and certified halal. No involvement of middlemen,” he said in a statement.

He added that RFPSB is a family-run Muslim Bumiputera company.

News of imported meat that was improperly sourced and passed off as halal first made headlines on December 21.

Citing unnamed sources, The New Straits Times alleged that a large network had been bringing in non-certified meat from countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Spain and Mexico and passing them off as halal products for decades, with the help of corrupt officials from at least four government agencies.

According to the newspaper, the “cartel” would bribe the officials with sexual favours on top of money, to turn a blind eye to its operations.

The only countries that have been certified by the Malaysian authorities for the import of halal meat are Australia, Argentina, Brazil, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Japan, New Zealand and the United States.

Certification is handled by Jakim and the Veterinary Services Department.

Other government agencies that manage the supplies of imported food are the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department, Customs Department and port police.