Fake halal meat scandal explodes in Malaysia
Malaysians were shaken last week by reports that a fake halal meat syndicate has purportedly been operating for 40 years by bribing officers with money and sex to allow non-certified meat, including potentially diseased kangaroo and horse meat, to be smuggled in and sold as certified halal beef, informs the Straits Times newspaper. According to several sources in Malaysia, the country, which had its own plan to become a global hub for the $2.3 trillion international halal market, is now facing one of the worst scandals in the global meat market and Muslim inhabitants are urging the government to reduce the dependency on meat imports, which are seen unreliable in the light of this event. A frozen meat company in Johor said to be linked to a syndicate which is being probed for allegedly importing frozen meat and passing it off as halal will be charged in court today.
A total of 13 police reports have been lodged over the syndicate, which used fake halal labels, investigators have reported. Police have promised a sweeping investigation that will include every part of the smuggling, storage and processing chain. The country is also considering establishing a Royal Commission of Inquiry, which the religious affairs minister said is the best way to investigate the issue and address concerns of Muslims in the country. The cartel’s operations begin at slaughterhouses where government agency officers supervise halal standards. The officials would fraudulently certify dubious or low-grade meat products, according to the report. Meat then entered Malaysia via ports, often avoiding inspection, then transported to warehouses where they were mixed with halal-certified meat and repacked with fake halal logos. Initial investigations revealed that the illegal activity involved a wide network with local and foreign syndicates.