SINGAPORE - A Singaporean doctor is on trial for allegedly helping his HIV-positive foreign boyfriend cheat the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) when the American submitted the doctor's blood for tests instead of his own in March 2008 to obtain an employment pass.
Ler Teck Siang, now 36, is said to have committed a similar offence in November 2013 by helping Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, 32, one more time. The American submitted Ler's blood for another test, duping MOM into allowing him to retain his employment pass.
In 2008, Farrera-Brochez moved to Singapore a year after he got into a romantic relationship with Ler. The pair had met online.
Besides these two charges of cheating MOM, Ler is also accused of two counts of giving false information to public servants.
On Dec 10, 2013, Ler allegedly lied to an investigation officer from the Health Ministry's Surveillance and Enforcement Branch by claiming that a person whom Ler knew as Dr Mikhy Malatesta Brochez was not at Twin City Medical Centre in November that year.
Court papers did not state if Dr Brochez is the same person as Farrera-Brochez.
In addition, Ler is believed to have lied to a police investigation officer on Jan 23, 2014, by stating that Farrera-Brochez's blood sample was the one which had been used for an HIV test in November 2013.
Ler has a fifth charge under the Official Secrets Act but this has been stood down.
On March 1 this year, Farrera-Brochez, who worked as a polytechnic lecturer in Singapore, was jailed for 28 months after committing multiple offences, including cheating, lying to a public servant, possessing drugs and using forged educational certificates.
If convicted of cheating, Ler can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.
And if convicted of lying to a public servant, he can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000 for each charge.