Doctor who switched boyfriend's HIV blood sample jailed 2 years

Ler Teck Siang was jailed for two years.
Ler Teck Siang was jailed for two years.

A 36-year-old medical doctor who swapped his blood sample in place of his HIV-positive American boyfriend’s so that the latter could get an employment pass has been sentenced to two years’ jail.

Ler Teck Siang was found guilty on two cheating charges and two counts of giving false information to a public servant after a trial.

In his grounds of decision after sentencing Ler last Monday (5 November), District Judge Luke Tan said it was clear that Ler’s statements to the police contained “confessions and damning admissions”.

In one self-recorded statement he gave to the police in May 2016, Ler said that after Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, 33, found out he was HIV-positive, Ler invited the latter to one of his locum clinics. Ler admitted that he had “developed deep feelings” for Farrera-Brochez by then.

Ler later submitted his blood sample to the authorities and Farrera-Brochez’s employment permit was approved.

The prosecution’s case was that in March 2008, Farrera-Brochez took a HIV blood test using a fake Bahamian passport. His test results came back positive.

Ler knew foreigners who tested HIV positive would not be allowed to work in Singapore so he engaged in a plan with Farrera-Brochez to deceive the authorities.

Farrera-Brochez went to My Family Clinic, where Ler was working as a locum doctor, and Ler submitted his blood sample in Farrera-Brochez’s name. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) then issued Farrera-Brochez an employment pass.

Later, the Ministry of Health (MOH) traced the HIV positive test result to Farrera-Brochez. In October 2013, MOM told him he was required to cancel his employment pass. But Farrera-Brochez replied to MOM to say he would prove that he was HIV negative.

The next month, in November 2013, Farrera-Brochez went to Twin City Medical Centre, where Ler was working as a locum doctor, for another blood test. The duo then repeated their ruse, and MOM did not cancel Farrera-Brochez’s employment pass.

MOH and the police subsequently investigated the blood test that Farrera-Brochez had purportedly undergone at Twin City Medical Centre.

Ler lied to an MOH investigator in December 2013 that he did not attend to Farrera-Brochez at Twin City Medical Centre, but told a police investigator in January 2014 that it was Farrera-Brochez’s blood which was tested in November 2013.

Farrera-Brochez, who was a polytechnic lecturer in Singapore, was sentenced to 28 months’ jail last year for crimes including cheating, lying to a public servant, possessing drugs and using forged educational certificates.

Ler is out on bail pending an appeal against his conviction and sentence. The prosecution, which asked for 28 months’ jail, is also appealing against the sentence.

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