GEORGE TOWN: The High Court here today turned down a notice of motion filed by six individuals including an assistant director of the National Registration Department (JPN) on the question of law relating to their charges of being involved in a syndicate issuing and selling birthday certificate as well as identity cards illegally to foreigners.
Penang JPN assistant director, Mohd Faizul Arifin, 34; Mohd Faizal Tan Abdullah, 66; Yap Cheng Wah, 43; Loh Chan Cheong, 34; Chien Guan Chai, 36, and businessman Datuk Lai Chin Wah, 56, are facing 13 charges under Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007.
Justice Datuk Akhtar Tahir in making the ruling said the offences committed by all the accused including security offences and the case should be tried in the High Court.
According to him, the security offences are included in the offence scheduled under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) and Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Trafficking in Persons Act 2007 set out in the First Schedule under Sosma.
Looking at Sosma, two matters are clear, the first, it is a security offence case which should be tried in the High Court. The second, it is specifically mentioned that it is non-bailable except for three categories of people. It was not mentioned in this case.
“So on these factors, I am turning down all notices of motion submitted for bail and to transfer the case to be tried in the sessions court,“ he said.
Akhtar also ordered the case to continue with trial as scheduled earlier for five days from April 6, 2020.
Meanwhile, counsel Datuk Ranjit Singh Dhillon, who is representing Chien and Mohd Faizal Tan, when met by reporters said his clients would be appealing the decision on the notice of motion to the Court of Appeal.
Counsels for the four other accused also made similar announcement to file their appeal.
On Oct 10, the defence team filed a notice of motion and affidavit to determine whether Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 is a security offence under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
They sought to be released on court bail as the six accused are still being held as they were charged under Sosma which is not bailable.
On Oct 3, Mohd Faizul, Mohd Faizal Tan, Yap, Loh and Chien pleaded not guilty to two charges under Section 26E of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 while Lai also pleaded not guilty to three charges under the same section.
Mohd Faizul is facing two charges of producing fake personal identity documents such birth certificates and identity cards under the same name (Ewe Chor Beng) to facilitate the smuggling of migrants at Penang JPN headquarters at Bangunan Persekutuan, Jalan Anson here between January and February 2019.
Mohd Faizal Tan, Yap, Loh and Chien were charged with two counts each of selling birth certificates and identity cards under the same name (Ewe Chor Beng) in the George Town area during the same period.
Lai was charged with three counts of selling the birth certificates, identity cards and passports 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 not less than RM50,000, or both, if found guilty. - Bernama