Woman fined for misusing friend’s passport
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A MALAYSIAN woman was fined $2,000 at the Magistrates’ Court yesterday after pleading guilty to attempting to cross the border using another person’s passport.
Loretta Lo, 22, was caught by immigration officers who saw that the defendant’s face did not match the photo in the given passport at the Sungai Tujoh control post on Friday night while travelling with two friends towards Miri.
She was detained and subsequently brought to the Immigration Department’s Enforcement Section in Kuala Belait for questioning.
During the investigation, the defendant revealed that she had came to Brunei on October 12, 2016 to work as a safety officer with Sepakat Energy Services Sdn Bhd but that her passport had been sent to the Immigration Headquarters in Berakas by her employers to obtain her employment pass.
However, she had then attempted to travel back to Miri to be with her family using her friend’s passport and to pay her last respects after receiving news that her grandmother had passed away there.
Under section 12(1)(c) of the Passports Act, Chapter 146, the maximum penalty for falsely representing oneself to be another person was five years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
During her mitigation yesterday, the defendant expressed regret and pleaded for a lenient sentence before the presiding Magistrate Hjh Ervy Suftriana Hj Abd Rahman passed down the sentence and ordered for the fine to be settled within the day.
The defendant, who did not have any convictions previously, indicated that she would be able to pay the fine in full by yesterday and avoid the two months’ in-default prison sentence.
The Brunei Times