Plane Passenger Caught With Rat Meat Amid Virus Fears

Story ByLee Bullen,Sub EditorJoseph Golder,AgencyAsia Wire Report

A tourist could be jailed for up to six years after being caught trying to smuggle 780 grammes of dried rat meat through a Malaysian airport despite the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the region.

The unnamed Myanmar (formerly Burma) national was stopped at Penang International Airport on the tip of Penang Island in north-western Malaysia.

According to local media, the Penang branch of the Department of Quarantine and Inspection Services found 780 grammes of dried rat meat on the Myanmar passenger.

AsiaWire /MAQIS

Department director Zarina Ramli said that the unnamed man tried to smuggle the dried meat into the country without any permits or veterinary health certificates from his home country.

She added: “The purpose of this veterinary health certificate is to ensure that the goods or meat are free of diseases and viruses.”

As well as the dried rat meat, Ramli said that another passenger from Thailand was caught trying to bring in 59.8 kilogrammes of Harumanis mango worth 2,565 MYR (480 GBP) without relevant permits or certificates.

Both offenders could face up to six years in prison as well as a 100,000-MYR (18,710-GBP) fine if convicted of smuggling the foodstuffs, according to local media.

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