Ranau Health Dept official arrested for allegedly handing out fake health cards


Datuk Zaini Jass (second left) showing reporters the fake department stamp and dubious health cards.

KOTA KINABALU: A Health Department official in Ranau district has been arrested for allegedly illegally processing and handing out health cards to food handlers in the area.

Sabah deputy police commissioner Datuk Zaini Jass said the 37-year-old was nabbed, following reports of food poisoning cases in a school in Ranau recently.

“Following the food poisoning report, health officials went to inspect the canteen of the school and they found some of the workers possessing fake health cards,” he said during a press conference here on Monday (July 15).

He said a further inspection led to the discovery of such health cards issued to others in three other school canteens and an eatery in the Ranau township.

Zaini said the suspect was believed to have been involved in such activities since 2014. He urged all food handlers in Ranau to come forward and get their cards re-verified to avoid legal action taken against them.

He said they were also investigating whether there are other accomplices in the case.

“We will also look at whether owners of these health cards know that they were getting fake cards or not,” he added.

Zaini said in their investigations, they found the health cards suspicious due to several factors, including the stamps and signatures on the cards belonged to someone who has been transferred to the peninsula since early this year.

“Since this case has been going on since 2014, we might also call the official whose signature was used in these new health cards to facilitate investigations,” he said.

In two other unrelated cases, two men were nabbed for allegedly possessing almost RM100,000 worth of drugs.

In the first case, Zaini said a 24-year-old Sarawakian chef was arrested in downtown Kg Air here around midnight on July 12.

“He was found holding a black plastic bag, in which was kept packets of what was supposed to be 3-in-1 drinks such as coffee and tea,” he said.

Inspection conducted on these packets of drinks found that they actually stored various types of drugs worth about RM42,500.

Zaini said the suspect was believed to have gotten the supply from someone in Miri, Sarawak, via air transport and was about to sell them here in Sabah.

The suspect was also tested positive for drugs. He will be remanded until July 18.

In the second case, a Filipino labourer in his 40s was arrested for possessing about RM46,840 worth of drugs here.

The man was nabbed from an apartment along the Tuaran-Menggatal road at about 6.45pm on July 12.

Zaini said they believe the suspect got his supplies from Semporna via road transport.

“The drugs are believed for the local market here,” he said, adding the suspect will be remanded until July 19.

He said the two suspects may face the death penalty, or life imprisonment, with whipping upon conviction under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
   

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