SOP followed during operation against unlicensed fruit sellers, says MCC

MCC enforcement personnel confiscate durian from unlicensed sellers during the operation held on Jan 10.

MIRI, Jan 13: Miri City Council (MCC) said its enforcement section followed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) when carrying out an operation on Wednesday (Jan 10) against unlicensed seasonal fruit sellers at various locations in the city.

“Several wild allegations against the Council (MCC) as appeared in Facebook post are found to be untrue owing to many of them are not aware of the existence of such SOP,” the council said in a statement yesterday.

In light of increasing public complaints on traffic obstruction and dumping of abundant fruit waste at public places, the council’s enforcement section has subsequently issued compound notices to seasonal fruits sellers who are illegally trading at roadside and public places.

The statement added that many of these sellers had received more than two or three compound notices, but chose to pay the compound fees and continued to stay put trading illegally.

In order to prevent the situation from going beyond control and giving rise to more complaints, on Wednesday, MCC together with the Immigration Department, carried out a joint operation at Tamu Muhibbah whereby most of the unlicensed seasonal fruit sellers illegally trade at parking lots and the roadside causing traffic obstruction.

There were also reports that foreigners were also trading there.

During the joint operation, 13 compound notices were issued and three cases of impounding were carried out because the sellers had fled from their trading places upon seeing the enforcement personnel approaching.

Enforcement personnel from the Immigration Department also detained four foreign traders.

The items that had been confiscated by the council were recorded before being transported to its enforcement depot pending the owners claiming back their items.

In accordance with the work procedures as laid down for MCC’s enforcement section, durable items would be kept for 14 days pending claims being made by the owners.

For perishable items such as vegetables and seasonal fruits like durian, rambutan and dabai, the enforcement section will allow them to be claimed within 24 hours subject to the payment of both impound and compound fees.

So far the enforcement section has received one claim for such confiscated items.

Items belonging to foreign traders are, for the time being, being kept by the Immigration authority.

Unclaimed items would be disposed of at the council’s dumping ground with proper records, supported by photographs taken before the disposal and where the items have been disposed in accordance with SOP, after the grace period of claims has expired.

In response to requests from the seasonal fruit sellers, MCC has considered and acceded to their requests by opening up more trading areas apart from the present area at Miri Indoor Stadium. Additional trading areas are available at parking lots at Tamu Muhibbah, parking lots in front of the tamu at Morsjaya Commercial Centre and parking lots at Boulevard Commercial Centre.

Temporary permits for seasonal fruit (durian) stalls are available for monthly (RM150 per lot) and weekly (RM50 per lot).

Seasonal fruits sellers are advised to apply for temporary permits from MCC’s Public Health Section located at 1st Floor of UTC Miri Building.

MCC will continue to carry out the operation as and when necessary so as to ensure the current sale of seasonal fruits is being carried out in an orderly manner without causing traffic obstruction and cleanliness issues. — DayakDaily