Penang NRD asst director charge with issuing fake MyKads, birth certificates

GEORGE TOWN, 12 Sept 2019:

Six people, including an assistant director of the Penang National Registration Department and a businessman with the “Datuk” title, were charged in separate sessions courts here today with 32 counts for offences in connection with the issuance and sale of MyKads to foreigners.

Mohd Faizul Arifin, 34, who is the Penang NRD assistant director – together with Loh Chan Cheong, 34; Chien Guan Chai, 36; Yap Cheng Wah, 43, and Mohd Faizal Tan Abdullah, 66 – faced two charges under Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act 2007, while businessman Datuk Lai Chin Wah, 56, was charged with three similar offences.

However, no plea was recorded from all the accused.

Mohd Faizul also faced four counts of falsifying birth certificates and identity cards and five counts of issuing identity cards to foreigners.

Lai, Loh and Yap were also charged with two counts each of falsifying birth certificates and identity cards, as well as to a charge of abetting Mohd Faizul in falsifying the documents, while four similar charges were made against Chien.

The charges were read out to them separately in two sessions courts before judge Norsalha Datuk Hamzah and judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid.

The two main charges made against Mohd Faizul was for issuing false birth certificate and identity card under the name of Ewe Chor Beng at the Penang NRD headquarters, Bangunan Persekutuan, Jalan Anson, here between January and February 2019.

Loh, Chien, Yang and Mohd Faizal Tan were also charged with two counts each of selling birth certificates and identity cards under the same name (Ewe Chor Beng) in George Town during the same period.

Lai was charged with three counts of selling the birth certificate, identity card and passport under the same name in George Town between January and March 2019.

All the charges were framed under Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, which provides an imprisonment for up to 15 years and fine of not less than RM50,000, or both, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Mohd Faizul pleaded not guilty to four counts of falsifying birth certificates and identity cards under the name of Ewe Chor Beng and Tan Xiu Xiu at the Penang NRD headquarters, Jalan Anson, here between January and May 2019 .

Lai, Loh and Yap also pleaded not guilty to two counts of falsifying birth certificates and identity cards under the name of Ewe Chor Beng and abetting Mohd Faizul in the commission of the act at the same place between January and February 2019.

Chien pleaded not guilty to four counts of falsifying birth certificates and identity cards under the name of Ewe Chor Beng and Tan Xiu Xiu, as well as abetting Mohd Faizul to falsify the documents at the same place between January and May 2019.

The charges were framed under Section 466 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 109 of the same law, which provides an imprisonment for up to seven years and fine, if found guilty.

Mohd Faizul also pleaded not guilty to five charges under Rule 25 (1) (i) of the National Registration Regulations 1990 for issuing identity cards under the name of Tan Xiu Xiu, Lim Hock Eng, Ewe Chor Beng, Yang Xiaohong and Pheh Jin Leong at the Penang NRD headquarters, Bangunan Persekutuan, Jalan Anson, here between 20 Sept 2018 and 3 May 2019.

They face an imprisonment for up to three years or fine of up to RM20,000, or both, if found guilty.

No bail was allowed against all the accused and both courts set Sept 18 for mention.

Police yesterday arrested 20 individuals including a NRD officer suspected of being involved in the issuance of fake birth certificates and identity cards.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Huzir Mohamed said the suspects who were arrested in Penang on Aug 19 comprised 17 locals, two Chinese nationals and an Indian citizen.

“The suspects aged between 32 and 70, are agents, middlemen, sponsors and holders of fake identity cards, birth certificates and Malaysian passports.

“Police seized various items including 38 mobile phones, 34 passports, five copies of birth certificates, 58 copies of passports and cash,” he said in a statement.

He said investigations revealed that the syndicate agents would hunt for foreigners seeking citizenship and the process would be handled by an individual based at Penang NRD.

Huzir said the syndicate was believed to have received between RM100,000 to RM600,000 from foreigners and investigations were ongoing to nab the remaining syndicate members.

All the suspects are being remanded for 28 days for investigations under Section 4 (5) of the Sosma Act 2012.

– Bernama