JOHOR BAHRU (March 9): The Johor Department of Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) seized a total of 332kg of live earthworms packaged in 25 crates at Senai International Airport near here yesterday.
The shipment of terrestrial invertebrates was impounded after it arrived in Malaysia from a neighbouring country without a valid import permit.
In a statement, Maqis said the earthworms were found inside 25 crates during an inspection by the department’s enforcement officers.
“The crates were earlier detained for inspection at the airport’s cargo complex shortly after arriving from Indonesia at about 3pm,” read the Maqis statement issued this morning.
According to Maqis, the value of the seized earthworms is estimated to be RM10,300.
“The importer has been detained for further action after checks revealed that the company had failed to submit a valid Maqis import permit as stated in the import conditions.
“The case is being investigated under Section 11(1) of the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 (Act 728), which can be punished under Section 11(3) of the same Act.
“Those found guilty may be fined not more than RM100,000 or imprisoned for a period not exceeding six years or both,” read the statement.
Earthworms are considered agriculturally important invertebrates regulated by Maqis and an import permit is needed as they fall under the act of importing any type of agricultural produce.
The import permit is also to assure Maqis that the necessary bio-security measures have been undertaken for the import. — Malay Mail