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Accused HIV data leaker denies everything, alleges cover-up by Singaporean gov’t

Coconuts logo Coconuts 13/2/2019 Coconuts Singapore
a close up of a man: Mikhy K Farrera-Brochez. Photo: Mikhy K Farrera-Brochez. Photo:

Mikhy Farrera Brochez, the American accused of leaking the confidential information of 14,200 HIV patients in Singapore, has broken his silence on social media, denying everything and claiming he is the victim of an elaborate conspiracy carried out by various Singaporean government agencies, officials and bodies.

There’s plenty to unpack in the lengthy, at-times rambling Facebook post, which went up at 4:40am this morning, was briefly removed by Facebook for violating community standards, then reinstated only hours later. What’s not in question is that he faces a likely uphill battle for credibility given his status as a convicted fraudster.

The official story

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Before we get into Brochez’s highly dramatic account, let’s look at the official chronicle of events as laid out by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday.

Brochez first arrived in the city-state in 2008, where he used blood samples from his boyfriend, local doctor Ler Teck Siang, to pass an HIV test and get a work permit. Diagnosed with HIV, it would have been impossible to apply for an Employment Pass to stay in Singapore. In fact, he wouldn’t even have been able to enter as a tourist at the time given that even short-term visitors with HIV were banned until 2015.

Dr. Ler circumvented this by submitting his own HIV-negative blood samples to the Ministry of Manpower under his boyfriend’s name. Brochez subsequently cleared the application process and received the pass.

During his time in Singapore, he lectured in two local polytechnics and set up a private practice as a child psychologist, despite having no degree that qualified him to do so.

It was in November 2012 that Brochez decided to approach the MOH and accuse Ler — who had access to the official HIV registry while head of the National Public Health Unit from March 2012 to May 2013 — of falsely telling others he was HIV positive. This turned out to be an incredibly bad move.

In the course of the investigations that followed, the MOH uncovered the fact that Brochez may have submitted fake HIV blood tests (oops). In 2016, after repeatedly refusing to comply with orders to undergo a fresh blood test, Brochez was arrested. He then provided police and government authorities 75 names and particulars from the HIV Registry — information he said he obtained through Ler.

When police raided Brochez’s residence, they found several educational certificates — all of which were forged. He also had a fake Bahamian passport. As the cherry on top, he was found to have possessed and consumed ketamine and amphetamine.

Brochez was found guilty of fraud and drug-related offenses and sentenced to 28 months in prison in March 2017. When his sentence ended, Brochez was deported from Singapore in April 2018.

Last month, however, Brochez allegedly began leaking the information of fellow HIV patients listed in the government registry. It is believed that he is in possession of registry data dating all the way back to 1985.

Brochez’s story

a sign in front of a palm tree: Facebook screengrab © Provided by Coconuts Media Limited Facebook screengrab

“The allegations being made against me by the Lee regime in Singapore are blatantly false,” he wrote in today’s Facebook post. “I did not steal this database nor did I leak it to the public.”

Given that the claims made by the wanted man are completely unverified, we’ve chosen to err on the side of caution and are leaving out some of the potentially defamatory details Brochez included in the post.

  • He claims that the leak was actually carried out by Ler’s scorned ex-lover. Ler’s former lover was said to have broken into his house and stolen the doctor’s work computer, giving him access to the HIV registry.
  • Brochez said he tried to alert officials in the Ministry of Health and high-ranking local politicians about the incident only for them to ignore his warnings and attempt to cover up the matter.
  • He claims that he and Ler (who he identifies as his husband) were arrested under false charges and that a massive government conspiracy was cooked up to blame the couple for the breach of data.
  • Brochez argues that MOH’s HIV registry is simply a tool for the government to monitor and track gay men Singapore.
  • He also asserts that he did not have HIV when he came to Singapore in 2008 — he only contracted it when he was imprisoned. Claiming that he was beaten and tortured by Singaporean officials, Brochez claimed that he was “gang-raped” by fellow inmates and infected with HIV.
  • He alleges that Singaporean officials have actually not yet contacted the American authorities to conduct investigations. Brochez mentioned that he has since met with a US senator and congressman — unnamed, naturally — and that “Washington’s attention is on Singapore.”

The Singaporean government has to this point offered no official response. In an interview with VICE News, Brochez revealed that he’s currently living out of his car and is going around Washington DC to meet with US government officials. He remains obsessed with clearing his name as well as his husband’s.

This article, Accused HIV data leaker denies everything, alleges cover-up by Singaporean gov’t, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!

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