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“Release my husband or else,” US citizen behind HIV data leak threathens to expose information to the public

Brochez's husband, Singaporean doctor Ler Teck Siang, is currently detained and is facing drug-related charges, including trafficking of methamphetamine.




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Singapore — In an affidavit filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States, Mikhy Farrera-Brochez admitted that he had the database of the HIV registry in his possession, had brought it into the US, and threatened the Government of Singapore that he would release the data for public perusal if his ‘husband’ was not set free.

FBI Special Agent Chelsea Holliday filed an affidavit on February 22 wherein Mr Brochez admitted to having accessed the database while he was still in Singapore, and that he had brought it with him when he was deported to the US in April 2018.

Should Dr Ler Teck Siang be convicted, he could face up to 20 years in jail.

Ms Holliday reported Mr Brochez’ threat in her affidavit. “But if the Singaporean Government did not release Siang (Ler), he would release the database to the public,” according to a report from Channel NewsAsia.

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She added that he told her that he would rather “commit suicide” than hand the database over to the authorities.

While Singapore has sought the help of authorities in other countries to bring Mr Brochez to justice, he is also facing legal troubles in the United States, where he has been charged with the unlawful transfer of stolen identification documents and possession with intent to distribute these documents.

From the period of June 2018 through January 2019, Mr Brochez allegedly emailed links to the database to different media organizations, which include CNN, the Straits Times, Mothership and Alvinology.

The affidavit filed by Ms Holliday also states that Mr Brochez first reached out to the FBI in November 2018, via the Bureau’s website. She had talked to Brochez along with one other FBI agent, James Huggins.

Ms Holliday says that Brochez had made a number of claims, including having one of false imprisonment in Singapore, and that Dr Ler had “married him under false pretenses.”

She added, “Brochez went on to accuse the Singapore Government of kidnapping, lying, forging documents, falsely imprisoning him, impersonating police officers and allowing Brochez to be raped in prison. Brochez claims that he did not have HIV when he went to prison in Singapore, but contracted it there.

Brochez was not able to offer proof or witnesses to any of the allegations that he made.”

Agents Holliday and Huggins told Mr Brochez to get in touch with them if he could show proof of his allegations. “We explained to him that the FBI could not begin an investigation into a foreign government based solely on his word and that there were likely jurisdictional boundaries as well.”

Singapore’s police and Ministry of Health have called Mr Brochez a “pathological liar” and said that his allegations are “baseless.”
In January 2019, he reached out to the FBI again. Ms Holliday described him to be “emotionally distressed and erratic” at that time.

A month later, the FBI was able to discover emails that Mr Brochez sent. One was sent on January 22, wherein he wrote to the Government of Singapore, outlining his accusations of what had been allegedly done to him. He also sent links to an online platform, which would lead to the database of HIV-positive patients in Singapore.

The FBI found emails from his personal account, sent to news outlets. Mr Brochez also posted on Facebook that he would continue to leak links to the database unless Dr Ler, whom he had married in 2014, was set free.

On February 21, Ms Holliday talked to Teresa King, Mr Brochez’ mother. After his deportation from Singapore in April 2018, he had gone to live with Ms King.

The FBI agent said, “King advised that her son was mentally ill and she was extremely afraid of him.”

Ms King had told the FBI agents that Mr Brochez had also sent her a link to the HIV patients’ database, but that she deleted the email as she refused to have it in her possession.

Ms Holliday’s affidavit reads that Mr Brochez’ mother “also explained that Brochez admitted to her that he emailed links to the database to the Supreme Court in Singapore and Singaporean diplomats.”

Read related: Mikhy Farrera Brochez, the man behind the HIV data leaks likely to face fraud charges in Hong Kong



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