| Fadley Faisal |
THE High Court yesterday revised the sentence of the Magistrate’s Court from a fine of $800 to a one year’s jail sentence in a case involving a 29-year-old Canadian man who pleaded guilty to entering Brunei after he had been barred from entering the country for a previous offence.
The Magistrate’s Court had called for the High Court’s revision of sentence, which was immediately advanced.
Davis Lim Zcau, earlier on Monday, pleaded guilty to the charge of entering Brunei illegally after having been a person barred from entering the country, was sentenced to a $800 fine by Senior Magistrate Muhammad Faisal, which he paid but was under detention pending his repatriation.
Justice Dato Paduka Steven Chong cited a previous similar High Court decision saying, “Section 36 offences must be treated very seriously by the courts. It was in the public interest that persons who had been prohibited from entering Brunei Darussalam should be deterred from coming into the country illegally. They would not be deterred if lenient sentences were imposed. Unless there were exceptional circumstances, upon conviction under Section 36, a sentence of at least one year’s imprisonment should be imposed on a guilty plea even in the case of a first offender.”
Facts of the defendant’s case were that he was arrested by Immigration officials at the Sungai Tujoh Immigration Control Post at about 9.05pm on September 20, 2014.
The defendant was going to Miri but officials detected that he was a person listed as ‘A’, meaning a person forbidden to enter the country.
He was brought to Kuala Belait Immigration office for further investigations which showed that the defendant had been expelled and listed ‘A’ and he was evicted on May 27, 2013 through the Kuala Lurah Immigration Control Post and at the time he was holding a Malaysian passport.
On the same day the defendant re-entered the country using a Canadian passport and that was how his entry was undetected.
It was also revealed that the defendant had first used his new Canadian passport on December 20, 2013 and the last time he used it was on September 19, 2014 to enter Brunei through the Sungai Tujoh Immigration Control Post.
DPP Md Raafe Ibrahim appeared for the Public Prosecutor in the High Court yesterday.