American leaked Data Of 14,200 HIV patients in Singapore
An HIV-positive American who had been deported from Singapore after serving a jail term has leaked online the personal data of 14,200 Singaporeans and foreigners diagnosed in the city-state with HIV according to a report by
The leaked records included HIV test results, names, identification numbers, phone numbers, addresses and other health information of
5,400 Singaporeans diagnosed with HIV between 1985 and January 2013, and 8,800 foreigners diagnosed between 1985 and 2011.
The confidential information is in the illegal possession of Mikhy K Farrera Brochez, a male US citizen who had been residing in Singapore, on an employment pass, between January 2008 and June 2016 and was convicted in 2017 on numerous drug-related and fraud offences, including lying to the Ministry of Manpower about his own HIV status.
The fraud offences were in relation to Brochez lying about his HIV status to the Ministry of Manpower, in order to obtain and maintain his employment pass, furnishing false information to Police officers during a criminal investigation, and using forged degree certificates in job applications, according to a press release by the country’s Ministry of Health Services.
Upon completing his sentence, Brochez was deported from Singapore. He currently stays outside Singapore.
” Following an alert by the Police, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has ascertained that confidential information regarding 14,200 individuals diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013, and 2,400 of their contacts, is in the possession of an unauthorised person. The information has been illegally disclosed online. We have worked with the relevant parties to disable access to the information.” said a statement released by the Singapore Ministry of Health
” While access to the confidential information has been disabled, it is still in the possession of the unauthorised person, and could still be publicly disclosed in the future. We are working with relevant parties to scan the Internet for signs of further disclosure of the information. ” said the statement.
Brochez was a partner of Ler Teck Siang, a Singaporean doctor. Ler had authority to access information in the HIV Registry as the Head of MOH’s National Public Health Unit (NPHU) from March 2012 to May 2013. Ler resigned in January 2014. He was later charged in Court in June 2016 for offences under the Penal Code and the Official Secrets Act (OSA). In September 2018, Ler was convicted of abetting Brochez to commit cheating, and also of providing false information to the Police and MOH. He was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.
Ler has appealed, and his appeal is scheduled to be heard in March 2019. In addition, Ler has been charged under the OSA for failing to take reasonable care of confidential information regarding HIV-positive patients. Ler’s charge under the OSA is pending before the Courts.
Last year, Singapore revealed that personal information of about 1.5 million people including the prime minister was stolen after hackers infiltrated the government health database reports Reuters.