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JOHOR BAHRU, May 4 -- The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) busted a syndicate that stole the 1kg subsidised cooking oil in the last six months believed to be worth RM15 million.
Putrajaya KPDNHEP deputy enforcement director (operations) Shamsul Nizam Khalil said they managed to expose the syndicate's tactics during a raid at industrial premises in Taman Pasir Putih, Pasir Gudang here around 2 am today.
Shamsul Nizam said KPDNHEP found a total of 10,149 1 kg packets of cooking oil and 4.5 tonnes of cooking oil inside a tank with an overall value of RM280,000.
He said KPDNHEP also detained 15 workers including their supervisor during the raid.
"Seven of them are local men and the other eight are foreigners from Nepal and Bangladesh aged between 35 and 45," he told reporters at the premises this afternoon.
Shamsul Nizam said the syndicate has been operating since last year, adding that their modus operandi was to obtain cooking oil supply from several factories and licensed wholesalers in Klang Valley, Pahang, Kedah and Perak.
He said the supply of cooking oil would then be transported to the premises in Pasir Gudang where the oil in the packets would be filled in two 1,000 litre tanks, before being exported.
"We are still investigating their export destinations apart from looking at the possibility of a link between the syndicate and the factories that produced 15 different brands of cooking oil," he said adding that they believed the syndicate has been stealing between 500,000 and one million packets of cooking oil every month.
Shamsul said the case was being investigated under the Control of Supplies Act 1961 which provides for a fine of up to RM1 million or imprisonment for three years or both, and also under Section 4(1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Illicit Activities Act 2001.