Maqis seizes 200kg of smuggled dried flower buds and leaves in Penang

BUTTERWORTH: The Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) has foiled an attempt to bring in agricultural products worth around RM5,000 at the Butterworth Wharf warehouse, here.

Penang Maqis director Zarina Ramli said her enforcement officers found 200kg of dried flower buds and leaves from India estimated to be worth RM5,000.

"The dried flower buds were Hibiscus Roselle flowers and the dried leaves are Moringa leaves.

"The items were seized for further action as the importer failed to submit valid documents such as the Import Permit.

"The act of importing agricultural products without a valid permit is an offence under Section 11 (1), Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 [Act 728] which can be punished under Section 11 (3), the same Act.

"If convicted, the company may be fined not more than RM1,000 or imprisoned not more than six years or both," she said in a statement on Friday (Sept 24).

Zarina added that Maqis always takes serious steps with the border enforcement agencies on issues involving food safety, disease control and the risk of pest entry that can threaten the country's agricultural industry.

"Law enforcement action will continue to be strengthened to ensure food safety assurance," she reiterated.

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