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GP's assistant accused of defrauding MOH in case linked to anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide

SINGAPORE — Three days after general practitioner Jipson Quah's cheating charge was amended to a more serious one of defrauding the Ministry of Health (MOH) over fake Covid-19 vaccination records, Quah's assistant Thomas Chua Cheng Soon's charge was similarly amended on Friday (Jan 28).

GP's assistant accused of defrauding MOH in case linked to anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide

General practitioner Jipson Quah's assistant, Thomas Chua Cheng Soon, was handed a more serious charge over allegations that he assisted Quah in submitting false Covid-19 vaccination records to the Ministry of Health.

SINGAPORE — Three days after general practitioner Jipson Quah's cheating charge was amended to a more serious one of defrauding the Ministry of Health (MOH) over fake Covid-19 vaccination records, Quah's assistant Thomas Chua Cheng Soon's charge was similarly amended on Friday (Jan 28).

Both Chua, 40, and Quah, 33, are now accused of conspiring with a woman named Mehrajunnisha.

On Jan 14, Quah is said to have falsely represented to MOH that she was vaccinated with Sinopharm vaccine when she was not, in order for her to obtain a vaccination certificate against Covid-19.

Both men were first charged a week ago.

The case is linked to Iris Koh, the founder of the controversial anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide. Court records showed that her charge of cheating MOH over fake Covid-19 vaccination records is also set to be amended on Friday to a more serious one.

Koh, 46, was first charged last Sunday with conspiring with Quah to cheat MOH into believing that people were vaccinated with Sinopharm vaccine when they were not, sometime between July last year and January this year.

She has since been in remand.

Fraud by false representation carries a maximum jail term of 20 years, while those convicted of cheating can be jailed for up to three years.

On Friday, the prosecution successfully applied for Chua to be remanded for another week until Feb 4 to complete "significant investigations", saying the police had given updates that "the extent of fraud perpetrated is quite significant".

Chua, who appeared in court via video-link, did not contest the application and said: "I just merely followed instructions from Jipson's instructions. I'm just a middleman."

The police previously said that Koh had allegedly referred clients, believed to be members of Healing the Divide, to Quah and had also suggested administering something else in lieu of the vaccine to patients.

It is unclear if Mehrajunnisha was a member of the anti-vaccine group.

Quah does not face any charges of conspiring with Koh, but prosecutors had said that investigations are ongoing and that they were unsure if more alleged offences would be uncovered.

He remains remanded till Monday after a judge rejected his lawyer’s request for him to be released on bail.

OTHER ALLEGATIONS

MOH earlier said that one of the clinics where Quah worked — Wan Medical Clinic in Bedok — had allegedly partnered Koh to offer “remote” pre-event testing using antigen rapid tests for members of Healing the Divide.

Patients were allegedly allowed to submit unsupervised antigen rapid tests through video or photo, and the clinic then uploaded a negative test result to MOH for them.

Quah was also found to have purportedly submitted a false positive antigen rapid test result to the Patient Risk Profile Portal, so that an unvaccinated patient could obtain a recovered status and be exempted from vaccine-related infection controls and regulations.

MOH did not state who this patient was. The Patient Risk Profile Portal by MOH allows doctors to access patients’ electronic records related to Covid-19.

Separately, Koh and her husband — Mr Raymond Ng, 48 — have been under investigation for allegedly instigating more than 2,000 members of Healing the Divide’s Telegram chat group to call and overwhelm public phone lines that help the public with Covid-19 issues.

Earlier this month, MOH filed another police report against Healing the Divide for purportedly telling parents to overwhelm medical staff members at paediatric vaccination centres with questions. 

Related topics

Iris Koh Healing The Divide court cheating Ministry of Health Jipson Quah vaccination Covid-19

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