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JOHOR BARU, Feb 9 — A company, together with its two directors and managers, were charged in the Sessions Court here today with 21 counts of possessing, offering and using a fake halal logo and supplying frozen meat without approval late last year.
The accused, Syarikat LY Frozen Food Sdn Bhd, its director Yong Chee Keong, 40, and manager, Chong Kim Kuang, 48, however, pleaded not guilty.
Another director, Tan Siew Huak, 42, was not present and is still at large.
Their plea was recorded after the charge was read separately to them before Judge Ahmad Fuad Othman.
According to the charge sheet, the company and the two accused as well as another man who is still at large are charged with using, possessing and offering 3,418 boxes of frozen food using fake trade descriptions without the approval of two suppliers from Australia as well as not having the required Australian halal certification.
The offence was committed at the Idaman Rural Industrial Park, Senai in Kulai here between December 1 and 3 last year.
The accused were charged under Section 5(1)(a) and Section 5(1)(c) of the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, Paragraph 4(1) of the Trade Descriptions (Certificate and Halal Marking) Order 2011.
If convicted, the accused can be fined between RM100,000 to RM500,000 or jailed for up to five years or both.
The prosecution was represented by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs’ Deputy Public Prosecutors Mohammad Onn Abd Aziz, Kwan Li Sa, Syazwani Zawawi, T. Ashivinii and Kee Shu Min.
The accused were represented by lawyers Zamri Idrus, Yusman Che Aman and Saiful Zaman Abd Rahman.
The court then allowed the two accused on bail of RM250,000 with one surety for each accused, as well as having their passports surrendered to the court. The accused were also told to report to the Kulai district police headquarters every two weeks.
The re-mention of the case is set for March 28.
It was reported late last year that the so-called cartel’s activities involved smuggling frozen meat into the country from slaughterhouses that do not have the required Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) halal certification by a syndicate.
The syndicate is also said to have offered bribes to some government employees, including senior officials of certain agencies as an inducement to pass inspections at the country’s entry points.
The syndicate was said to repackage the meat using the halal logo before selling it to markets throughout Malaysia before it was uncovered as a result of a raid by the authorities at a warehouse in Senai.
The activity is believed to have been carried out over the past few years by making the warehouse a location for making fake labels and stamps that will be pasted on repackaged meat boxes before being sold in the local market as halal meat.
It involved a seizure worth about RM 6.47 million.
In December last year, a different company that supplies frozen meat, and two of its directors allegedly involved in the halal logo scandal were charged in the Sessions Court in Johor Baru with two charges of using unrecognised halal logos on its lorries.
The accused Rahman Sheik Abdullah, 44, and his wife Raihanah Kasim, 42, from Raihanah Cold Storage Sdn Bhd however, pleaded not guilty before Judge Mohamad Haidar Abdul Aziz.