PASIR PUTEH – A Special Anti-Profiteering Sessions Court has been established to handle cases of profiteering and unscrupulous trading by traders, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said today.
He said effective last April 1, cases on charges for profiteering could be registered and tried by the court which was set up in all states.
“This is to ensure cases involving profiteering offences can be monitored disposed off efficiently,” he told reporters after the simultaneous opening of general meetings of the UMNO branches in the Pasir Puteh division here.
Hasan, who is an UMNO Supreme Council member, said the prosecution of the cases at the court would be handled by prosecuting officers from the ministry’s enforcement division and assisted by the deputy public prosecutors from the ministry’s legal division.
He said the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 provided a fine of up to RM100,000 or maximum imprisonment for three years, or to both, on individuals found guilty of making unreasonably high profit in selling or offering to sell or supplying or offering to supply any goods or services.
For second or subsequent offence, the penalty is fine of up to RM250,000 or imprisonment for up to five years, or to both, he added.
He said for corporate bodies, those found guilty faced a maximum fine of RM500,000 for the first offence and up to RM1 million for a second or subsequent offence.
He said members of the public with information on traders who increased prices of goods unreasonably or take advantage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which was implemented yesterday, to lodge a report at the ministry’s offices nationwide.
“Yesterday (Friday) alone, the ministry conducted checks at 6,621 business premises nationwide and detected 16 cases (for offences) under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act,” he added.
On operations against profiteering, code-name “Ops Catut”, carried out since Jan 15, he said a total of 619,854 premises were checked and 2,932 cases were filed.
Goods worth RM495,292 were seized and the value of compound was RM339,366, he added. – BERNAMA