Heavier penalties decreed for mosque thefts and trespassing of royal property, effective October 7

National 1 minute, 1 second

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has decreed heftier penalties for mosque thefts and trespassing on royal property with effect from October 7.

Crimes such as theft, mischief, house trespassing and housebreaking committed at protected places or places of worship will be punished with mandatory whipping and a jail term of up to 10 years, according to a statement issued by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) yesterday.

The amendment to the Penal Code comes after a spate of 15 thefts in mosques across three districts between November 2013 and January 2014.

His Majesty called on enforcement authorities to take comprehensive steps to deter such crimes, in a titah delivered last February to mark Brunei’s 30th National Day. Imams also denounced the thefts as “the most atrocious sin”.

AGC also announced an amendment to the Trespass of Royal Property Act, punishing offenders with a jail sentence between two and seven years, as well as a mandatory punishment of two strokes of the cane.

In September 2013, a local man trespassed the compound of Istana Nurul Iman, ramming through the barriers and gate with his car.

The charge against him was later withdrawn after he was deemed to be of unsound mind.

The Brunei Times