Overseas muslims could be robbed of the taste New Zealand lamb, after a halal meat exporter- seemingly linked to a convicted tax fraudster – was put into liquidation.
Meatco NZ Ltd was placed into liquidation following High Court proceedings in Napier, with Chris Horton and Associates appointed as liquidators.
The Meatco website describes the company as “one of the New Zealand’s leading providers of the highest quality halal lamb and mutton products in the Middle East and South East Asia”.
It also says it has the capacity to halal slaughter 15,000 sheep a week at a “fully refurbished modern halal meat processing plant”, located in Christchurch.
However, Canterbury resource consenting authority ECan has no record of a consent being granted to the company.
Similarly, the Ministry for Primary Industries, which grants licences for halal slaughterhouses has no record of an licence granted to Meatco.
Meatco NZ Ltd has a registered office address, listed with Companies Office, as belonging to North Shore businessman Michael Stacker, who is also the sole shareholder of the company.
Mr Stacker is also a registered director of parent company Meatco International Ltd, which has a registered address belonging to BRL Accounting in Onekawa, Napier.
The company’s website domain name was registered by a former employee in Napier who confirmed to Hawke’s Bay Today that the company was owned by Mr Stacker.
Stacker, previously known as Husain Khalil Al Saffaf, was sentenced to home detention at the North Shore District Court in 2014 after telling his tax agent he had brought assets which he had not.
That led to the tax agent unknowingly filing a false tax return on behalf of Dalal Forest Trust which Stacker owned.
Stacker had been prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office previously for similar offences. In 2009 he was banned from being a company director for five years.
“During the initial review of company documents by the liquidator’s forensic team at Chris Horton Associates, we have come across the name MR A H ALSAFFAF [sic],” Liquidator Chris Horton said.
That had led liquidators to “the reasonable conclusion” that Mr Stacker of Meatco NZ Ltd (In Liquidation) and the Mr Stacker referred to in relation matters reported from North Shore District Court, were in fact the one and same person.
Anyone owed money by Meatco is urged to contact Chris Horton and Associates.
For meat to be considered halal it must adhere to strict instructions put down in the Koran.
The Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry, dhabiha, involves killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.
Animals must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter and all blood is drained from the carcass. During the process, a Muslim will recite a dedication, know as tasmiya or shahada.