The Ministry of Health (MOH) has hit out at the allegations made by Mikhy K Farrera Brochez, the foreigner whom the Government has identified as the mastermind of the HIV Registry data leak, who declared his innocence on social media yesterday.
Last month, the Government said that the confidential records of 14,200 individuals diagnosed with HIV are in the illegal possession of Brochez, who was said to have accessed the HIV Registry and stolen the record through his partner, Singaporean doctor Ler Teck Siang.
Calling the allegations against him “blatantly false” and asserting that he did not steal the HIV database or leak it to the public, Brochez instead claimed yesterday that the database was stolen in 2012 by a man who had an affair with Ler Teck Siang.
He also alleged that he alerted MOH of the data theft in 2012-2013 but that the ministry sought to “cover-up” the leak. Brochez also claimed that he was given a list of HIV positive prisoners by a treating physician while he was imprisoned.
Adding that he was not HIV positive when he was imprisoned, Brochez claimed that he was infected with HIV when he was allegedly raped by other inmates while he was imprisoned.
MOH has since asserted that there is no truth to the new allegations made by Brochez. It said in a statement:
“Brochez continues to make allegations which are either false or unsubstantiated with any evidence.
“The matter has been thoroughly investigated by both the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Police. Brochez was convicted in Court for fraud and various drug offences. Should new evidence emerge, we will investigate accordingly.
“The Minister for Health had provided a Ministerial Statement in Parliament on 12 February 2019 giving a full account of the incident.
“We have explained the public health reasons for the HIV Registry. Brochez’s allegations that the HIV registry is used to target a group of men with specific sexual orientation is untrue. The fact that there is such a registry is public knowledge and statistics on HIV infection rates from the HIV Registry are published annually.
“We have indicated that Brochez may have possession of further information, and may reveal it in future. He has now threatened to do so, and MOH will work with the Police to take appropriate actions.
“Our priority remains the wellbeing of the affected individuals. We appeal to members of the public not to retain or share such information, as it could cause distress and anxiety amongst those affected. Please alert the Police should you come across such information.”