5 ISD detainees freed
By Za'im Zaini

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented for the release of five detainees who were held under the Internal Security Act for their involvement in distributing counterfeit Brunei money in the country.

The five are: 40-year-old Awg Sofri bin Dahali, 51-year-old Awg Haji Abdul Salam bin Haji Dollah, 40-year-old Awg Bakar bin Hj Bali, 58-year-old Awg Hj Razali bin Hj Kahan and 42-year-old Awg Juni bin Haji Garip.

They were released after undergoing rehabilitation at the Detention and Rehabilitation unit in Jerudong.

In taking their oath, the five regretted for their wrongdoings and swore their allegiance to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the government of His Majesty.

They also pledged to abide by the laws and regulations of the country.

The five were part of the 16 people detained by the Brunei Internal Security Department in February 2004 under Section 3 (1) (a) Internal Security Act Chapter 133 for their active involvement in smuggling, possession, selling and distribution of counterfeited Brunei currencies to the public. Thirteen of those arrested are locals, two foreign nationals and the other a permanent resident.

Nine others involved in the counterfeiting syndicate were released in 2005.

In a statement from the ISD in February 2004, they assessed that such activities as an attempt to sabotage the economic stability of the country. Thorough investigation revealed that those detained were actively engaged in smuggling, possession, selling and distributing counterfeited Brunei currencies through a number of syndicates since 2001. It was revealed that the counterfeit notes were printed and smuggled into the country from abroad.

A total of B$542,350 of counterfeit currencies were confiscated by the police in the early stages of their investigation and further probes resulted in B$241,200 more of fake currencies being traced and later confiscated by the ISD.

Among those present at yesterday's ceremony was Awang Haji Omar bin Haji Abd Rahman, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The ceremony took place at the Sultan Sharif Ali Mosque in Sengkurong. - Borneo Bulletin (13th July 2007)