A local man was jailed for four years yesterday after failing to prove his innocence in 20 charges of cheating people of their money in return for his scam of securing jobs in the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), with one isolated incident.
Azman bin Ibrahim was also ordered to compensate nine victims to the tune of BND24,890, or serve an additional 33 weeks’ jail in default of payment.
Acting Senior Magistrate Pengiran Hazirah binti Pengiran Haji Mohd Yusof convicted the defendant of the 20 charges on finding the case proven beyond the court’s reasonable doubt.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhd Qamarul Affyian bin Abdul Rahman produced the nine victims as witnesses to support his case in court.
In the court’s summary of the prosecution’s case, it stated that in May 2018, the defendant met with a woman and made an offer in which he can help secure her son a position in the RBPF if she paid him BND800.
He informed her that he helped many others before because his brother-in-law is ‘Dato Irwan’, the then deputy commissioner of police. Once she agreed and paid him the requested amount, he asked her to find more people who would be interested in joining RBPF.
Over the course of 2018, the defendant met other victims and made the same offer of securing a position for them or their family members in RBPF on the condition that they pay him.
He would also on some occasions offer them higher ranked positions within RBPF for additional payment.
Generally his offer was for a position as an Auxiliary Police Officer, a member of the Reserve Unit, a Police Constable, a member of the Special Operation Squad and on one occasion as a clerk. Each of the victims testified that they paid him directly in cash.
The court added that the defendant would dishonestly induce the complainants by falsely representing to them that he was a member of the RBPF by showing them his hand cuffs. He also informed them that he had the necessary connections within the RBPF to assist them around any hurdles (such as being underqualified, being over the age requirement or has a pending police case) due to his close relationship with ‘Dato Irwan’. Along with asking for money, he also asked the complainants for a copy of the applicants’ identity cards, their CVs and their certificates.
“A number of the (victims) also testified that the defendant would invite them to attend briefings on the recruitment process and on one such briefing, he informed them that their date of admission into the RBPF was December 4, 2018 and in preparation they need to purchase the relevant materials required for the police recruit admission such as sports attire, toiletries, bed sheets and shoe polish,” the court said.
“When the victims went to the Surau of the Police Headquarters in Gadong on December 4, 2018 expecting to join RBPF, the defendant informed them that there was a mistake and the date of admission was January 4, 2019. However, on January 4, 2019 when the (victims) again gathered at the parking lot of the Police Headquarters, the defendant did not show up and could no longer be reached via his mobile phone. This led to them lodging a police report against the defendant,” the court concluded in its finding.
The court also found that on one isolated occasion, the defendant contacted the victim via WhatsApp on December 24, 2018 to offer him the sale of two YAMAHA boat engines for BND4,000 and that the boat engines will be released on January 4, 2019. As he was attracted to the offer, the victim agreed and paid the defendant on the same day. However, on January 4, the victim tried to contact the defendant throughout the day via mobile phone but could not reach him. He felt he was cheated of his money.
The defendant was arrested on February 3, 2019.
The court also found that the defendant’s defence has no grounds.