In Johor, syndicate crippled after misappropriating RM15 million worth of cooking oil in six months

Packs of cooking oil are pictured at a market in Petaling Jaya March 2, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Packs of cooking oil are pictured at a market in Petaling Jaya March 2, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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PASIR GUDANG, May 4 — The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has successfully crippled a syndicate that misappropriated subsidised cooking oil worth about RM15 million within a six-month period.

The ministry’s Putrajaya Enforcement (Operations) deputy director Shamsul Nizam Khalil said the syndicate’s tactics were uncovered during a pre-dawn raid at an industrial premise in Taman Pasir Putih here early today.

He said the 2am raid was carried out by nine enforcement personnel from the ministry after gathering intelligence for about a month on the syndicate’s activities.

“Based on preliminary investigations, we estimate that the syndicate had misappropriated between 500,000 to 1,000,000 packs of cooking oil within a month, involving a value of RM2.5 million a month.

“The syndicate’s modus operandi was to extract cooking oil from one kilogramme (kg) packs before transferring into tanks for export abroad.

“The syndicate procures cooking oil supplies from 15 different brands involving licensed manufacturers and wholesalers from around the Klang Valley, Pahang, Kedah and Perak,” said Shamsul Nizam.

He said this to reporters after inspecting the syndicate’s premises here today.

During the raid, the authorities found 10,149 packs of 1kg cooking oil and 4.5 tonnes of cooking oil, worth RM280,000, that was stored in a tank.

Shamsul Nizam added that in the operation, they also detained 15 male suspects consisting of seven locals and eight foreigners, aged between 35 and 45.

“One of the suspected detained was a supervisor, while the foreigners detained were from Nepal and Bangladesh.

“We are also investigating if there is any involvement between the syndicate with wholesalers and manufacturers who produce the 15 brands of cooking oil found,” he said.

Shamsul Nizam pointed out that this case is the first of its kind detected by the ministry this year.

“The case will be investigated under the Control of Supply Act 1961 which provides for a fine of up to RM1 million or imprisonment for three years or both.

“The case will also be investigated under Section 4 (1) (a) of Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 to detect suspicious financial transactions,” explained.

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