There have been a total of 1,256 profiteering cases detected and 1,115 notices issued by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs from April 1 when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented, till June 5.

Its minister Datuk Hasan Malek said the ministry was stepping up operations across the country to catch traders who cheat and those taking advantage to rack up excessive profits after the implementation of the GST.

"In the second phase of 'Ops Catut' (the ministry's anti-profiteering operation), it has shown that we have not only taken action in terms of issuing fines and so on, but we've brought cases to a special court that has been set up for this. And as of today, nine cases were brought to court, and out of them, four of thosechargehave already pleaded guilty.

"This court imposes penalties of between RM40,000 to RM100,000. It also serves as a warning to traders who are wicked and greedy, to always be aware that we are constantly monitoring them," he told reporters after launchingCARE Societyat the Kariah Masjid Kampung Pauh Cooperative in Terachi near here, Sunday.

Hasan said his ministry also encouraged people to complain directly to thethemto facilitate swift action to be taken, besides helping to detect thehotspotswhere fraud oftenoccured.

He added that fraud occurred at all levels of business, whether by manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers or small businesses such as retailers.

In the meantime, he said a total of 424,166 routine inspections had been carried out nationwide and from the total, Sabah recorded the highest number of inspectionswith52,788.

Meanwhile, Kelantan recorded the highest number of notices issued in the second phase of the operations, with 227.