The Intermediate Court yesterday sentenced a 46-year-old local man to four years’ jail after a trial on charges of misappropriating bail bond money while in service.
Ex-Inspector Mohd Soffian bin Haji Kipli was also ordered to compensate the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) to the amount of BND13,500, or serve an additional six months’ jail.
Judge Muhammed Faisal bin Pehin Datu Juragan Laila Diraja Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Kefli found DPP Emily Goh’s case to have proven against the former police inspector on charges of being an officer-in-charge of the Sungai Liang Police Station, had misappropriated bail bond money on several occasions between September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2017 and in the capacity of Assistant Officer-in-Charge of the Sungai Liang Police Station between September 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018 in the total sum of BND17,400.
Lawyers Zainidi Abdul Hamid and Sharah Abdul Hamid mitigated on their client’s behalf, saying that he boasts a service of 23 years from a police constable up until inspector. He also handed over a portion of the untouched bail bond money in the amount of BND3,900.
The court was also informed that the defendant had attempted to restitute the money, but to no avail as there was no reply from the force.
The defendant’s counsels also mentioned his remorse, invoking the court to consider handing a punishment of probation and community services, or a fine.
However, the prosecution objected to the defence party’s application citing that the defendant had committed a serious offence, the fact that he had claimed trial to the charges at the first opportunity, his betrayal to the public’s trust as a police officer and the integrity of the positions he had held, and that the offences were committed over two and a half years in 31 transactions totalling a significant sum.
The court was minded with the submissions from both parties and decided to hand the deterrent sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offences committed by the defendant while holding the position of trust.