KOTA BARU: The Kelantan Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has seized more than RM170,000 worth of cooking oil in a series of operations in the state this year.
Its director, Datuk Abdul Ghani Harun, said 17 people, including three cooking oil suppliers, were detained for questioning during the campaign.
He said most of the cooking oil was seized in Pasir Mas, Kota Baru and Tanah Merah – all of which are close to the border with Thailand.
"The cooking oil was seized either from vehicles suspected of belonging to smugglers, or in premises. The total amount is 61,964 kg," Abdul Ghani said.
He said the ministry will monitor all sundry shops, especially those located along the border area, to ensure that the subsidised item, especially the 1kg packet, is not smuggled into Thailand.
"We will also monitor all 18 cooking oil suppliers in Kelantan to ensure they adhere to the rules," Abdul Ghani said.
Datuk Hilmi Yusoff, executive chairman of one of the suppliers, Tanjung Pauh Construction, said his factory produces more than 1,000 kg of cooking oil a day and the amount has remained the same, despite recent reports of supply shortages and panic buying.