JOHOR BARU: Four Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) assistant enforcement officers and a logistics company owner were charged at the Sessions Court here for allegedly being involved in a meat cartel between 2016 and December last year.
The four officers were Mohd Hafizan Khalid, 44, Nor Azlan Mat Suki, 40, Mohammad Sofyan Mohd Zin, 27, and Khairul Izat Sulaiman, 31.
The company owner was Abdul Latif A. Rahman, 55. All five were charged before Sessions Judge Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail here yesterday.
Mohd Hafizan was accused of receiving RM2,500 in cash from an individual as inducement to release a container of imported frozen meat from a country that did not have approval from the Veterinary Department, in December 2016.
Nor Azlan, who is facing five charges, was accused of accepting bribes amounting to RM37,000 between February and March, 2017, as inducement to release 40 containers of imported frozen meats from an unapproved source country.
Mohd Hafizan and Nor Azlan were charged under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009. The duo, who were represented by lawyers Mohd Razak Sharif and Peter Tan, claimed trial to the charges.
If convicted, they face imprisonment of up to 20 years, a fine of
not more than five times the graft amount or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
Meanwhile, Abdul Latif claimed trial to two charges under the MACC Act 2009 for allegedly submitting documents with false information on Oct 5 and Nov 9 last year.
If convicted, he faces imprisonment of up to 20 years, fine of not more than five times the graft amount or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
The accused, who was rerepresented by lawyer S. Vijaya, also faced two optional charges for the same offences under the Penal Code. If convicted, he faces imprisonment of not more than two years, a fine or both.
Ahmad Kamal set bail at RM7,000 each with one surety for Mohd Hafizan and Nor Azlan while bail for Abdul Latif was set at RM8,000 with one surety. He was also ordered to hand over his passport to the court.
Meanwhile Mohammad Sofyan and Khairul Izat, pleaded guilty to accepting RM30 and RM100 on
Oct 5 and Nov 10,2020, respectively to accelerate the document and consignment physical inspection.
Mohammad Sofyan was unrepresented, while Khairul Izat, was represented by lawyer S. Selvam.
Khairul Izat was fined RM1,500 in default one month imprisonment. He paid the fined.
However, the judge advised Mohammad Sofyan to appoint a lawyer and set bail at RM5,000 with one surety.
MACC prosecution officers Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin and Suhaili Sapun prosecuted the case.