Agriculture Dept foils attempt to smuggle in 17,600kg of banned pesticide

KEPALA BATAS: The Agriculture Department foiled an attempt to smuggle banned paraquat dichloride into the country following the seizure of RM171,212 worth of the chemical on March 26.

Its director-general Datuk Mohd Nasir Warris said the seizure was made during a routine check by the Penang Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) at the Northern Butterworth Cargo Terminal (NBCT) who in turn informed the Enforcement Section, Pesticide and Fertiliser Control Division.

"The 42% concentrated paraquat dichloride were filled in 80 containers weighing 17,600kg and this is the most confiscated this year since the chemical was banned in January 2020," he said during a press conference at Bumbung Lima Agriculture Complex here on Monday (April 12).

Mohd Nasir said the seizure was also the first success by the department involving unregistered pesticides.

He said the importer tried to hide their illegal activities by declaring the consignment that came from Anhui, China, as fertiliser but upon checking by Maqis enforcement officers, the consignment was not as declared in the item declaration at the port.

He said the confiscated chemical can produce at least 3000 containers of 13% concentrated paraquat dichloride worth RM450,000 at the market price.

He said the pesticide was banned in the country since January 1,2020, as it can bring harm to users.

He said the case is being investigated under Section 13 (1) of Pesticides Act 1974.

Also present at the press conference were Pesticide and Fertiliser Control Division director Mat Iesak Ngathinee, state Agriculture Department director Muhaimin Ibrahim and state Maqis director Noriah Dahlan.

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