JOHOR BARU • A director and a manager of a frozen food company based in Senai, Johor, have been charged at the Sessions Court in connection with a meat syndicate scandal.
The accused, company director Yong Chee Keong, 40, and manager Chong Kim Kuang, 48, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them before Judge Ahmad Fuad Othman.
They are accused of using fake halal logos on dozens of packages of meat not certified to be halal - which refers to meat prepared according to Islamic law.
The case has been hotly debated among Muslims in Malaysia.
Yong faces seven charges, as does another company director who is still at large. Yong has been charged under the Trade Description Act 2011 and Trade Description (Certification and Marking of "Halal") Order 2011.
According to the charge sheet, Yong and the other director allegedly committed the offences between Dec 1 and 3 last year at the company's premises in Taman Perindustrian Desa Idaman in Senai.
Chong also faces seven charges under the same Act and Order for similar offences at the same place and time.
In the same court, their company - identified as Syarikat LY Frozen Food by Malay Mail online news - also faced seven charges for offences under the same Act and Order.
The judge set bail at RM250,000 (S$82,000) with one surety for each of the accused and set March 28 for the next mention.
He also ordered the accused to surrender their passports and to report to the Kulai police station once every two weeks.
Last year, the Malaysian authorities busted a syndicate that had been smuggling meat from Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina and China and repackaging it with fake halal logos.
A raid was carried out at a warehouse in Senai and 1,500 tonnes of frozen meat worth RM30 million were seized.
The cartel, believed to have been operating for a few years, had allegedly been using the warehouse as a site for making fake labels and stamps to be pasted on packages of meat not certified to be halal.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK