Man convicted of dealing stolen items; woman fined for forging road tax

Fadley Faisal

The Magistrate’s Court convicted a local man of six charges under the Criminal Asset Recovery Order (CARO) yesterday.

Chief Magistrate Pengiran Masni binti Pengiran Haji Bahar found DPP Emily Goh’s case against 35-year-old Mohammad Nasrul Hakimin bin Haji Amin to have satisfied the court beyond reasonable doubt during the trial.

The court based its conviction on the prosecution’s evidence of having proven that the defendant had knowledge or reasons to suspect, or failing to ensure that the properties he dealt were derived from criminal activity.

The defendant failed to prove his innocence against the charges which stated that he had dealt a BenQ projector along with its bag, a Sony PSP Vita, 13 branded sunglasses and five other sunglasses along with their casings between June 1 and July 29, 2019.

He then dealt 15 pieces of top-up cards each valued at BND10 between June 19 and July 29, 2019.

Between June 24 and July 29, 2019, the defendant dealt six luxury watches, five branded watches and currency notes, two pieces of 10,000 Cambodian riel, five pieces of 1,000 Cambodian riel, 17 pieces of 500 Cambodian riel, eight pieces of 100 Cambodian riel, one piece of 10,000 Colombian peso, five pieces of 1,000 Colombian peso, one piece of 10 Cuban peso, one piece of one Cuban peso, one piece of 5,000 Lao kip and one piece of one United States (US) dollar.

The defendant owns a cube shop in the Jaya Setia Square commercial area and started dealing with a Malaysian man named Ferry Pengiran since June 2019 where he accumulated all tainted properties since then.

The defendant in his defence said that he had no reason to suspect Ferry Pengiran of supplying him with stolen items.

However, in the course of the trial, the prosecution’s case showed the court to find otherwise, where in an instance the defendant bargained with Ferry Pengiran to agree on very low payments for the luxury watches.

The court also found in the prosecution’s evidence that the business dealing between the defendant and Ferry Pengiran was quite thought-provoking, in an instance when Ferry Pengiran deleted pictures that he had sent to the defendant through WhatsApp, and the fact that the behaviour did not raise doubt to the defendant.

The defendant will learn of his fate on March 18.

The defendant is represented by lawyer Sheikh Noordin bin Sheikh Mohammad.

Meanwhile in another court case, the Magistrate’s Court ordered a local woman found guilty in a road tax forgery case to settle a BND3,500 fine or serve three months’ jail.

In the court document for the decision handed on February 20, Mardhiah binti Haji Omar, 42, was found guilty of using a forged road tax on January 24, 2020.

The case landed on the Commercial Crime Investigation Unit of the Royal Brunei Police Force jurisdiction and was brought to the Public Prosecutor’s attention.

The Attorney General’s Chambers’ prosecutor Hajah Adzimah Mukarramah binti Haji Salleh brought five witnesses to support her evidence, proving the case before Magistrate Hajah Ervy Sufitriana binti Haji Abdul Rahman to be satisfying beyond the court’s reasonable doubt.

Mardhiah’s counsel, Sheikh Noordin bin Sheikh Mohammad, pleaded for a probation or a lenient fine.

Defence counsel Sheikh Noordin also mentioned that Mardhiah showed remorse by purchasing a new insurance and a road tax for the car.

Magistrate Hajah Ervy Sufitriana highlighted that forging a government document is a serious offence.

The magistrate said however, it is balanced with the circumstances that the case effectively taught Mardhiah a lesson, finding it a one-off offence paired with her renewal of her vehicle insurance and road tax properly.

“I am satisfied that a high fine is sufficient to deter the defendant and that she ought to be given another chance,” Magistrate Hajah Ervy Sufitriana said on handing her decision.