Trolls bullying business over halal cookies risk jail: cops

EIGHT months of abusive phone calls and threats to the Byron Bay Cookie Company have resulted in a police investigation being launched with offenders staring down the barrel of a jail term.

Tweed-Byron police Inspector Bobbie Cullen said using telecommunications equipment with the intention of committing an offence carried a maximum penalty of three years' jail.

Insp Cullen said there was no damage to company property, products, or threats of sabotage, just anti-Muslim phone and internet threats.

"Staff have not been physically approached," she said.

"Detectives are investigating the phone calls to the company and Facebook posts. This is pretty serious, especially if they are intimidating the company and its employees."

The threats came after a post on the Byron Bay Cookie Company Facebook page on Tuesday announced the companies' Anzac biscuits were halal certified.

What followed was a tirade of more than 1780 posts, most condemning the company's decision to announce all its products were halal certified.

Racist and religious threats were made against the company, with some accusing it of imposing a "Terrorist Tax" on its halal certified products, with the profits being directed to fund Islamic extremists.

Byron Bay Cookie Company chief executive Keith Byrne declined to comment on the threats as a police investigation is underway.

However, he said the company had been making cookies at Byron Bay for 24 years, and its products had been halal certified for almost 10 years, along with hundreds of other big brands.

"In the same way that food labelled as vegan or gluten-free is suitable for consumption by a broad range of consumers, halal certified foods are commonly enjoyed by non-Muslims," he said.

"Organisations who offer halal certification services are subject to the same prohibitions on funding illegal entities and activity as any other organisation or individual under Australian law."

Anyone with any information about threats to the company and its employees are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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