'I'm just a middleman': Assistant of doctor accused of falsifying Covid-19 vaccine certificate pleads for leniency
The assistant of the doctor who is said to have been involved with falsifying a patient's Covid-19 vaccination record has had his charge amended to one that carries a more hefty punishment.
On Friday (Jan 28), Thomas Chua Cheng Soon, 40, was charged with conspiring with Jipson Quah and Mehrajunnisha to make a false representation to the Ministry of Health, which is punishable by up to 20 years' jail, a fine, or both.
This is up from the original charge of conspiring to cheat MOH, which would have been punishable with a maximum of three years' jail, a fine, or both.
Chua pleaded for leniency and added: "I merely followed the instructions of Jipson to proceed with the offence. I'm just a middleman."
Deputy Public Prosecutor Samuel Yap asked for Chua to be further remanded for a week till Feb 4.
When asked by the judge why Chua's remand needed to be extended, DPP Yap said: "The extent of the fraud perpetrated is quite significant and the accused's attendance is therefore necessary for the investigations to be complete."
The court heard that on or about Jan 14, Chua is said to have conspired with Quah to falsely represent to MOH that Mehrajunnisha was vaccinated with the Sinopharm vaccine, though she was not, in order for Mehrajunnisha to obtain a Certificate of Vaccination against Covid-19.
On Tuesday, Quah's charge was similarly amended to dishonestly making a false representation to MOH instead of cheating the ministry.
The police on Jan 25 released a statement saying that Quah and his clinic assistant Chua had been arrested, along with Iris Koh, the founder of anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide.
Preliminary investigations found that Quah and Chua purportedly worked together to submit false vaccination data, while Koh, 46, was believed to have referred clients to them.
Koh's case is scheduled to be heard on Friday in Court Crime Registry Chambers, in a hearing not open to the public.
Chua is scheduled to be in court next on Feb 4.