MALAYSIA Fake Halal scandal has shaken the Malaysian meat industry January 2021
Malaysia food industry is currently embroiled in a major controversy when the authorities recently discovered that a large quantity of imported non-Halal meat had been passed on as Halal for muslim consumption for several decades. This has shaken the confidence of the majority muslim population in the domestic meat sector.
In its latest findings, related documents dating back to 2015 belonging to a frozen meat import company, believed to be involved in the meat cartel issue, were seized recently by the Johor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to track down the mastermind as well as personnel involved in supporting these illegal activities. Several suspects have earlier been remanded for further investigations.
The Malaysian government suspected that a few companies were involved in the fake Halal meat scandal for several decades. This fraudulent act of copying the Halal logo issued by JAKIM has partially tarnished the image of Malaysia as a reputable destination, supplier and producer of Halal meat. These companies actually use the counterfeit Halal certification for their imported meat.
According to MACC, the meat products were imported illegally from several countries without the authorities' approval and the offense falls under submission of false declaration by the import company and agents. MACC is also investigating whether there is any case of corruption relating to this illegal business.
According to another report, a large illegal network (cartel) has been bringing in non-certified meat from countries like Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Spain and Mexico and repackage them with fake Halal labels for sale with the help of corrupt officials from at least 4 government agencies.
To curb this illegal activities, JAKIM has been instructed to tighten its enforcement and SOP in the issuance of Halal certification for all imported products. The latest SOP will include amendments to the activities related to Halal certification to prevent the occurrence of duplication of halal certificates, as well as the use of digitisation in the barcodes of Halal food products.
The government is also reviewing (studying) how exporting countries obtain their Halal certification for the products before they export to Malaysia.
Further details of the investigations will be revealed in due course.
JAKIM, or the Islamic Development Department has so far approved 84 Halal logos from 46 countries.
The 46 countries are Australia (8) followed by Japan (7), China (6), India and US (4 each), Brazil (3), Netherlands (3), Philippines (3) and South Africa (3) amongst others.
Consumers could identify the logos from abroad recognised by JAKIM for imported products being sold in the market. Importers could also identify products that have Halal certificates recognised by Jakim to be imported into Malaysia, to avoid unnecessary losses or doubts.
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