ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) has detained more than 40 tonnes of imported cocoa fruit and vegetables worth more than RM270,000 at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas here.
Johor Maqis director Nur Afifah A. Rahman said the cocoa was seized after an inspection found the fruit infested with maggots, while the vegetables were found to be suspicious as the address on the manifest differs from the address in the permit.
“The cocoa was from Uganda and was inspected at about 10am on Tuesday (March 23). Inspection inside the container found 24,210kg of cocoa fruit worth RM227,213 that was infested with pests.
“The vegetables arrived from China and were inspected at the same location on the same day at about 11am. The team found 16,786kg of vegetables worth RM45,115.
“However, the address on the permit and the manifest differed, prompting confiscation for further investigations, ” she said in a statement on Wednesday (March 24).
She added that the cocoa case is being investigated under Section 14 of the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 (Act 728) for importing agricultural goods that are contaminated or damaged.
The offence carries a fine not more than RM100,000 or imprisonment not more than six years or both, and a fine not more than RM150,000 or imprisonment not more than seven years for a repeat offence, upon conviction.
The vegetable case is being investigated under Section 13 of the same Act for making a misleading declaration to the authorities, Nur Afifah said.
It carries a fine of not more than RM50,000 or imprisonment not more than two years or both and a fine of RM75,000 or imprisonment not more than five years upon conviction for a repeat offence.