KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 94 online advertisements related to rice sales were taken down by ecommerce platform providers between Oct 1 and May 31 for not possessing retail licences issued by the Padi and Rice Regulatory Board.

The rice being advertised was believed to have been sourced from unauthorised suppliers, the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (July 3).

It also said the sale of rice on ecommerce platforms is subject to the Control of Padi and Rice Act 1994 and its accompanying regulations.

“If found guilty, the parties involved could be fined up to RM25,000 or imprisoned for up to five years, or both,” the statement read.

According to the ministry, padi and rice are controlled items under the Act and its regulations, which stipulate that any transactions involving the items at mill, wholesale and retail levels, including the online sale, require a licence issued by the board’s director-general.

“(Selling without) a controlled goods licence is an offence under Regulation 3 of the Control of Padi and Rice (Licensing of Wholesalers and Retailers) Regulations 1996,” it said.

The ministry said it believed that the rice being offered in the online advertisements was imported without government approval, an offence under Regulation 10(1)(a) of the same regulations.

“The board will continuously monitor the activity of online rice sales in collaboration with ecommerce platform providers to curb this activity,” it said, reminding traders to comply with the law when selling controlled goods. – Bernama