Another case of alleged fraud has cropped up on the streets of Brunei Darussalam with the latest incident, which has garnered government attention, involving a woman claiming to be a health practitioner working under the Ministry of Health.
In a government memo that has been posted on Facebook, it is understood that the alleged perpetrator had duped an elderly woman living in Mentiri out of her gold accessories on March 31, 2012 after she was made to believe that her accessories were the main cause of her illness.
The memo, which was signed on behalf of a senior government officer from the Ministry of Health, confirmed to be genuine and addressed to the country's District Offices, highlights the modus operandi of the faux health officer with the first such case recorded in May last year.
Entitled 'Disguising as a Nurse in Kampong Mentiri', the memo opens with details of last year's case explaining that the incident took place in Kampung Ayer where another elderly woman suffering from high blood pressure was approached at her home by a plain-clothes woman claiming to be a nurse from the Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah Health Centre where she stated that she was sent by the health officer to conduct medical tests in relation to the elderly woman's high blood pressure.
The woman, after informing the elderly woman that her jewellery was the main cause of her condition, then instructed the elderly woman to take off her accessories, to shower for 15 minutes followed with a full body massage. Whilst in the shower, the elderly woman was allegedly told by the perpetrator that she needed to pick up some medication that was stored in a boat. After showering, the elderly woman discovered that the perpetrator had vanished with her jewellery and her PHY Health Card that were stored in a plastic bag.
In the case that occurred in Mentiri, it was stated that the perpetrator had left the scene in a car.
Emphasising that the Ministry of Health is taking these cases seriously, the memo advises the District Offices to issue notices to residents within their jurisdiction and to ensure that those claiming to be visiting health practitioners are in uniform and have on them their official Department Identification Cards before agreeing to receive medical treatment.
The Royal Brunei Police Force, meanwhile, when contacted by the Sunday Borneo Bulletin, advised victims of this scam to approach any nearby police station to lodge a report to aid in investigations.
Local Facebook users who have read the memo have expressed their disbelief at what has happened especially in the wake of a recent fraud case that duped approximately 300 Bruneians into believing that they had been employed by the country's Municipal Department.