KUALA LUMPUR: Almost 13,000kg of cooking oil worth more than RM30,000 have been seized in several raids from Monday till Wednesday.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said 17 cases were recorded for various offences, including hoarding, smuggling and selling cooking oil conditionally, during the three days.
“We seized 12,825.5kg of cooking oil worth RM37,707.30 under Ops Suri ,” he said.
There were four cases of hoarding, five smuggling cases, one case of unauthorised conditional sale and seven cases of wholesalers who did not update their stock records.
“Unauthorised conditional sale refers to retailers who set conditions for the purchase of cooking oil, such as the purchase of other items above a certain price.
“Wholesalers have to update their record books so that we can trace where the stocks of cooking oil have gone. Because they do not have records, the oil may have been channelled to those in the food manufacturing industry who are not entitled to subsidised cooking oil,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after conducting a check at Tesco Ampang, Shafie reassured the public that there was ample supply of cooking oil and flour, adding that there would be no price increase in essential items.
“We have enough flour. There is no change in the price of general purpose flour. It stays at RM1.35 (per kg),” he said.
Shafie urged the public not to be deceived by rumours of price increases, as this would cause panic buying and affect the supply line.
One of the smuggling cases foiled during the raids was in Tumpat where four Thai women were detained yesterday for allegedly trying to smuggle out 77kg of palm oil-based cooking oil worth around RM200.
They told state anti-smuggling unit officers, however, that they were unaware of any ban.
The four, aged between 33 and 47, are believed to be food traders in the neighbouring border township of Tak Bai in Narathiwat (southern Thailand).