Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Healing the Divide founder Iris Koh, doctor face new charges over fake Covid-19 vaccination records

SINGAPORE — The founder of a controversial anti-vaccine group, Iris Koh, and general practitioner Jipson Quah returned to court on Wednesday (July 27) to face new criminal charges of defrauding the health authorities here by submitting fake Covid-19 vaccination records.

Iris Koh (left) and Jipson Quah at the State Courts on July 27, 2022.
Iris Koh (left) and Jipson Quah at the State Courts on July 27, 2022.
Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.
  • Iris Koh and general practitioner Jipson Quah were handed two and nine new charges respectively of defrauding MOH
  • Quah's assistant Thomas Chua Cheng Soon now also faces six new charges
  • The trio is accused of conspiring to misrepresent to MOH that certain individuals were inoculated against Covid-19 with the Sinopharm vaccine
  • This supposedly happened between July 2021 and January 2022

SINGAPORE — The founder of a controversial anti-vaccine group, Iris Koh, and general practitioner Jipson Quah returned to court on Wednesday (July 27) to face new criminal charges of defrauding the health authorities here by submitting fake Covid-19 vaccination records.

Koh, 42, the founder of Healing the Divide, was handed two new charges of committing fraud by false misrepresentation.

This comes on top of her initial count of conspiring with Quah to defraud the Ministry of Health (MOH) by saying that people were vaccinated with Sinopharm when they were not, and another charge of obstructing a police officer by refusing to sign and tearing up a charge sheet.

She returned to Singapore about a week ago after travelling to Malaysia for alternative thyroid cancer treatment.

Quah, 34, who was similarly charged in January with one count of fraud by false misrepresentation, now faces a total of 10 such charges. His initial charge was also amended to elaborate on his alleged co-conspirators.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Etsuko Lim told the court that Quah will likely face more charges, and asked for an adjournment of six weeks for further investigations.

Quah’s assistant, Thomas Chua Cheng Soon, 40, was handed six new charges on Wednesday on top of his current charge of the same offence.

Quah is represented by defence counsel Anand Nalachandran, who said that he was earlier notified of the developments. Chua does not have a lawyer and Koh is defended by Mr Wee Pan Lee.

Thomas Chua Cheng Soon at the State Courts on July 27, 2022.

MORE PEOPLE NAMED IN CONNECTION WITH KOH AND QUAH

The trio is accused of agreeing to dishonestly make false representations to MOH that certain people received the Sinopharm vaccine, so that they could obtain a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19.

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.

Koh was already charged with being a party to a criminal conspiracy with Quah to defraud MOH between July last year and January this year.

New court documents on Wednesday showed that Quah purportedly conspired with Koh, Chua and the following people to misrepresent their Covid-19 vaccination statuses:

  • Gary Tho Kong Choong on Oct 20 last year
  • Cedric Lim Junqi, also known as Mohammad Daniel Lim, on Jan 14 this year

Quah also allegedly conspired with Chua and these people:

  • Paglar Elizabeth Monica and Sayson Stephen Columbus on Jan 19 this year, in order to misrepresent that Stephen was vaccinated
  • Paglar on the same date, in order to misrepresent that Paglar and Natalie Carmella Sayson were vaccinated
  • Sim Hong Ow and Neo Soh Yong between Oct 16 and Nov 6 last year
  • Newton David Christopher between Dec 29 last year and Jan 15 this year, in order to misrepresent that Newton and Wonglangka Apinya were vaccinated. Newton, a 43-year-old Australian, was charged in June with two counts of conspiring to dishonestly make false representations to MOH
  • Mehrajunnisha-Quaide Milath and Quaide Milath, in order to misrepresent that Mehrajunnisha was vaccinated

It is unclear if the above individuals were members of Healing the Divide.

The position of Healing the Divide, a movement started by Koh during the Covid-19 pandemic, has been that vaccines against the disease are harmful to the body. Koh posted and shared content along those lines on social media, with MOH issuing a statement last year saying it had observed that the content she spreads online "perpetuates falsehoods and misleading information about Covid-19 and vaccines".

Koh, Quah and Chua will return to court on Sept 7 and remain out on bail.

If convicted of conspiring to dishonestly make false representations to MOH, the trio could be jailed for up to 20 years or fined, or punished with both, for each charge.

If convicted of obstructing a public servant in discharge of their public functions, Koh could be jailed for up to three months or fined up to S$2,500, or both.

QUAH SUSPENDED FROM PRACTICE

In March, Quah was suspended from practising medicine for 18 months after the Singapore Medical Council found that he allegedly administered saline solution to some 15 people in place of a Covid-19 vaccine.

He then allegedly uploaded false vaccination statuses into the National Immunisation Registry system of MOH. The doctor also purportedly charged up to S$1,500 for these fake jabs, the council said.

Quah was also said to have conducted no fewer than 430 instances of remote pre-event testing via the online meeting platform Zoom over 15 days last December, which was not allowed at the time. 

He allegedly charged a monthly subscription fee of S$125 for daily testing, which took place from December last year to January this year, or S$12 for ad-hoc testing.

In January, MOH issued suspension notices to the four clinics either licensed under Quah’s name or managed by him, or both.

They are: Wan Medical Clinic in Bedok North, Mayfair Medical Clinic in Woodlands, Mayfair Medical Clinic (Yishun Chong Pang), and Ong Clinic & Surgery (Yishun).

The antigen rapid test approvals for these clinics were also revoked.

MOH began investigating Wan Medical Clinic after receiving anonymous feedback in December last year that it was partnering Koh to offer "remote" pre-event testing using antigen rapid tests for members of Healing the Divide.

It was found to have allegedly allowed people to submit to the clinic pre-recorded videos or photos, or both, purporting to show that they had performed the rapid test on themselves. The clinic then uploaded the negative test results for them, MOH said.

Quah was also a director at PPD Global Central Lab, which is owned by pharmaceutical firm Thermo Fisher Scientific. He has been placed on leave.

Related topics

court crime Healing The Divide Iris Koh Jipson Quah Covid-19 fraud coronavirus vaccine vaccination

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.