Sunday, September 27

Temple volunteer’s jail term for cheating, forgery increased

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KOTA KINABALU: The High Court here enhanced the jail terms of a Buddhist temple volunteer from two years to five years for cheating and using false documents.

Justice Ravinthran Paramaguru increased the custodial sentence on Heng Chin [email protected] Wong Chin Hing, 60, after dismissing the latter’s appeal to have the sentence varied.

However, the appellant’s fine of RM40,000, in default, eight months’ jail was maintained by the court.

The appellant, represented by counsel Ram Singh, who was supposed to serve all his jail terms concurrently from March 1, was allowed a stay of execution, pending his second application to the Court of Appeal.

On the first count, the judge sentenced the appeallant to five years’ imprisonment for cheating one Chong Yu Long and one Chong Siew Kuan of RM23,000 as part payment to purchase a land lot in Tomanggong Estate in Kinabatangan by inducing them to believe that he was the holder of a ‘Power of Attorney’ dated Feb 8, 1977 for the said land lot.

The offence was framed under Section 420 of the Penal Code and provides for a jail term of up to 10 years, whipping and a fine, upon conviction.

The appeallant received another five years’ jail each on his second, third and fourth charges, for using three forged documents, namely the said ‘Power of Attorney’ that gave him authorisation regarding the said land; The River Astate Sdn Bhd’s ‘Special Resolution of Board of Directors’ dated Jan 7, 1977, an authorisation letter for him pertaining to the said land and; a ‘Personal Declaration and Testimony’ by R.G. Berret dated Feb 8, 1977 agreeing to give an authorisation letter to him also pertaining to the said land, respectively.

The offences took place in March 2012 at a law firm at Damai Plaza IV, Lorong Kayu Manis here.

The three charges levelled under Section 471 of the Penal Code are punishable under Section 467 of the same Code which carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine, upon conviction.

On May 18, 2016, the Sessions Court here sentenced the appellant to 12 months’ jail for his first charge and finedRM40,000 for his three other charges, the appellant received another 12 months’ jail after he was found guilty of all the said charges.

The appellant then appealed against his sentence at the High Court here, which then affirmed the lower court’s decision.

However, on July 25, 2017, the appellant won in his appeal against the High Court’s decision, whereby the Court of Appeal unanimously allowed his appeal and ordered for it to be sent back to the High Court for re-hearing before a different judge.