| Azaraimy HH |
SERVING jail term makes most convicts remorseful and changes their lives for the better, but Mohammad Sambari bin Haji Abu Bakar is an exception – and a born criminal.
The 39-year-old local man was released from prison just last year after serving time for cheating and faking official identities.
The trickster found himself in trouble with the law once again and landed behind bars – this time over 12 charges of cheating various persons and companies and impersonating as public officers.
The Magistrate’s Court yesterday sen-tenced Mohammad Sambari to 68 months’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to the charges under Section 420 of the Penal Code, Chapter 22, for cheating various persons and companies into hand over their cars and money by using fake identities.
The defendant admitted to the statement of facts presented by the Public Prosecutor which read that between December 29, 2016 and March 29, 2017, he obtained cars from different rental companies on seven different occasions by making them believe that he was a genuine customer.
In fact, the defendant had no intention of returning the cars, but to sell them to unsuspecting buyers.
Through deception, the defendant managed to obtain 16 cars.
Mohammad Sambari also admitted to cheating a number of individuals into giving him a total of B$10,890 in exchange for various cars he either did not own or did not even have.
According to five of the charges, the defendant impersonated himself as an officer of the Internal Security Department when he approached a car rental company.
Another charge alleged that Mohammad Sambari deceived a member of the public to trade his Toyota Camry for a Toyota Fortuner – which did not belong to him. The unsuspecting victim fell in his trap and agreed to exchange his car along with a payment of B$6,000 as demanded by the defendant.
The victim became suspicious when the Toyota Fortuner was not delivered to him even after repeated attempts to contact the defendant, and subsequently reported the matter to the Royal Brunei Police Force.
As the defendant has committed such offences in the past, Prosecuting Officer Amiriah binti Haji Ali sought for the court to impose an enhanced sentence on the defendant under Section 75 of the Penal Code, Chapter 22. The court took note of this along with the fact that the defendant was only recently released from prison.
Delivering his sentence, the presiding Magistrate Pengiran Shahyzul Khairuddien bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman noted that the defendant committed grave crimes and that he assumed identities of public officers to render credibility to his offer to rent or sell cars.
The Magistrate highlighted that Mohammad Sambari intended to profit from his crimes and caused financial loss to the victims, adding that a deterrent sentence is necessary as some of the victims in this case were companies and there is a need to protect the business environment in Brunei Darussalam.
The court also ordered the defendant to pay a compensation of B$10,890 to the victims within three months, or face an additional three months’ imprisonment.