29-year old Filipino, Argel Sanchez David was charged at the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrates Court yesterday for an offence under Section 6b of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 131. The case was referred by the Royal Customs and Excise Department to the Anti-Corruption Bureau where the accused person, who was employed by a Forwarding Agent Company, was reported to have offered bribes to a Customs Officer for violating customs declaration.
On the 4th of October 2021, the accused corruptly gave a gratification of $20 to a Customs Inspection Officer to refrain from taking any action against the accused for any customs declaration violation. The accused was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on the 9th of October 2021. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the accused was taken for a PCR swab test on same day. This is inline with the Anti-Corruption Bureau's SOP, taking into account the Ministry of Health's advice. The accused was subsequently taken to the Sports Village for isolation pending the swab test results. After the negative swab test result, he was immediately brought to the Anti-Corruption Bureau for investigation. Yesterday, the charge was read to the accused and no plea was recorded.
The prosecution applied for the accused to be remanded for 5 days since the investigation is ongoing because the accused was only released yesterday morning from the isolation centre. The court granted the prosecution's application, and ordered for the accused to be remanded at the Central Police station. The further mention will be on the 16th of October 2021 at 11:30 in the morning.
Source: Radio Television Brunei