JOHOR BARU: A container carrying more than 26 tonnes of maggot-infested cocoa beans was detained by the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) at Gelang Patah here.
Maqis director Hizzuan Hasim said enforcement personnel detected the consignment during a routine inspection at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) at around 12.30pm on Tuesday (April 13).
“The 26,640kg of cocoa beans from Madagascar, valued at RM260,520, were seized after we found maggots in them," he said a statement on Thursday (April 15).
The seizure, he said, was made under Section 14 of the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act (Act 728) for importing agricultural goods that contain pests, diseases or pollutants.
The offence is punishable with a fine of not more than RM100,000 or jail term of up to six years, or both, upon conviction.
A repeat offender could face a fine of up to RM150,000 or a maximum of seven years’ jail, or both, he added.
Hizzuan advised import and export firms to abide by the law and regulations to prevent the spread of diseases in animals and plants as well as to safeguard food security.