Cops say ‘meat cartel’ scandal involves massive network, including international syndicates

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Huzir Mohamed speaks during a press conference at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur December 1, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Huzir Mohamed speaks during a press conference at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur December 1, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, DEC 29 — Based on the number of items seized and its value in a recent raid on a factory in Senai, Johor, the police said that it is “undeniable” that the halal “meat cartel” scandal involves a massive network and is operated by syndicates both locally and internationally.

Datuk Huzir Mohamed, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, added that the scope of investigation on this scandal will include parties involved in the acquisition, story, processing, smuggling, manipulation, abetting and bringing in the frozen meat through approved import permits.

“The Royal Malaysian Police takes this matter seriously and is committed to addressing it with the cooperation of other agencies such as the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KDPNHEP), Department of Veterinary Services, Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services and the Royal Malaysian Customs Department,” he said in a statement.

Huzir said that investigations by the Classified Criminal Investigation Unit, D5 Unit and the Criminal Investigation Unit from Bukit Aman are ongoing under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for causing fear and alarm to the public.

He added why such weight of action against the syndicate takes into account several points, which include sparking annoyance to Malaysians especially involving issues involving Islamic sensitivity, triggering dissatisfaction and threatening peace and order due to the acts of irresponsible parties, smearing Malaysia’s good image as a halal hub and greatly affecting the nation’s economy.

He continued by imploring anyone who has any knowledge on the so-called cartel to come forward with any information that can assist them with their investigation and to not spread news on social media that has not been confirmed and can threaten the harmony of Malaysia.

“Strict action will be taken without compromise to anyone who intentionally spreads fake news and threatens public order,” he said.

The meat cartel scandal has become the talk of the town after the media reported on the smuggling of frozen meat from China, Ukraine, Brazil and Argentina before repackaging the meat using the halal logo at a warehouse in Senai, Johor.

Earlier today, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said the police will assist the KPDNHEP with investigations into the meat import cartel case.

He said the department had also opened several investigation papers over the issue based on reports lodged by several individuals and non-governmental organisations.

Religious affairs minister Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad also said that the government will meet with industry players involved in the importation of meat and slaughtering of animals to ensure they understand the set guidelines.

The senator said this was also to ensure a high level of compliance with the guidelines and integrity of the industry players.

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