Man acquitted of people smuggling

National 1 minute, 9 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A LOCAL man was yesterday acquitted of smuggling two foreign nationals out of the country.

Muhammad Zulfadilah Harun, 29, was cleared at the Intermediate Court of any wrongdoing over charges of smuggling two Bangladeshi nationals from Brunei to Miri, Sarawak through the Sungai Tujoh Control Post in Kuala Belait in May last year while travelling with another local man.

He had pleaded not guilty over a year ago after immigration officers at the control post inspected a Toyota Innova on May 12, 2015 and found the two Bangladeshi men lying face down on the floor behind the passenger seat hidden underneath some bags.

The two Bangladeshi men had overstayed in the country illegally after their employment passes had been cancelled earlier, although they both possessed their own passports.

The defendant was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car at the time, which was driven by the co-defendant.

Presiding Judge Pg Hjh Hanani Pg Hj Metusain ruled in favour of the defendant after the court was satisfied that the defendant, represented by defence counsel Hj Mohd Rozaiman DSLJ Hj Abd Rahman, didn’t commit the offence under section 7(1) of the Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons Order.

The co-defendant, 47-year-old Ali Rahman Hj Daud, was convicted and sentenced to three years and four months in prison with three strokes of the cane in September last year after he pleaded guilty.

The Brunei Times