JOHOR BARU, June 9 — The Johor Department of Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) foiled an attempt to smuggle “live” frogs and catfish without an export permit to Singapore at the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) in Tanjung Kupang, Iskandar Puteri yesterday.
The frogs and catfish, weighing approximately 40kg, were found inside a van that was transporting seafood from Malaysia to Singapore.
Johor Maqis director Hizzuan Hasim said an enforcement team had carried out an inspection on the van that was supposed to carry wet fish on the export vehicle route at 10am.
“An enforcement superintendent’s check found 20kg of ‘live’ frogs and 20kg of ‘live’ catfish worth approximately RM2,300 hidden among other licensed fish to confuse the inspection team,” he said in a statement issued here today.
Hizzuan said Maqis officers later detained the van and its 18-year-old driver.
“Both the van and its driver were released after his statement was recorded and the items confiscated until the investigations are completed,” he said.
Hizzuan said the act of exporting any type of agricultural product without a valid export permit from Maqis is an offence under Section 11 (2) of the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 (Act 728), which is punishable under Section 11 (3) of the same Act.
He added that if convicted, those liable may be fined an amount not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisoned for a term not exceeding six years or both.
Hizzuan said the department is committed to its enforcement duties and will continue to strengthen their presence at all national gateways to ensure the control of fish, animal, plant diseases and food safety guarantees are preserved and complied with the set regulations.