American man Mikhy Farrera-Brochez is slated to go to jail for two years after using an HIV database from Singapore. Farrera-Brochez is charged with two counts of extortion as well as possession of the HIV server.
Mikhy Farrera-Brochez was a former Kentucky resident who worked as a polytechnic lecturer in Singapore. He illegally obtained and revealed confidential information surrounding approximately 14,000 individuals on the HIV Registry.
Confidential information found on the list included names and addresses of HIV-positive individuals. Of these numbers, 5,400 were Singaporean nationals, while the remaining 8,800 were foreigners, states Channel News Asia.
Farrera-Brochez reportedly obtained the data through doctor Ler Teck Siang, his partner in the firm. Siang previously worked as the head of Singapore’s National Public Health Unit, notes the Straits Times. The Singaporean doctor helped conceal the American’s HIV-positive status in order to obtain a work permit in the country.
The American’s conspiracy with the Singaporean doctor led to his arrest in 2016, in addition to the drug charges. Afterward, he was released and immediately ordered to return to the United States.
Following his arrival in the country, officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation found the American smuggled the HIV server. Channel News Asia revealed that Farrera-Brochez sent some information to his mother in the United States. Other information was stored in a number of devices, including external hard drives, smartphones, and a laptop.
Files and other relevant information from the HIV server were also uploaded via Google drive.
On two occasions, the American citizen threatened the Singaporean government to expose the HIV database to the public. Threats came in two separate emails, demanding his requests to be met. Demands from Farrera-Brochez include releasing his partner, keeping the registry open and accessible, and stopping a full-blown investigation.
According to the Straits Times, Farrera-Brochez received his conviction earlier in June 2019. However, the suspect only received his conviction last Friday, September 27, 2019. News of his arrest came via the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Authorities also called for Farrera-Brochez to “permanently delete” all relevant information from the MOH, states Channel News Asia. To prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, he is also ordered to surrender devices used for the breach.
Gulf News shares the data leak is the second major breach experienced by Singapore within months. The first incident affected 1.5 million nationals whose health records were stolen.