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Tawau Health Dept cautions public on bogus officers
Published on: Friday, December 06, 2019
By: Lagatah Toyos


Dr Navindran showing an official health officer’s card.
TAWAU: Tawau Health Officer Dr G Navindran cautions the public that it is not the first time conmen disguised as health officers to scam the unsuspecting public.

Their scamming included money extortion and two such cases were detected here.

He urged the public to examine the officer’s card of a possible suspect that allegedly wants to carry out an inspection of their home.

“Firstly, check their cards, secondly, follow them around during the home inspection and third, make sure the ‘officer’ is using a government car with a department logo... If in doubt, especially if they arrive in private car, contact our department for confirmation,” he said. 

According to him, health officials have the right to inspect any home or premises to ensure there is no contagious disease. 

However, occupants and homeowners also have the right not to let them in the event of a dubious identity.

“If you are still dissatisfied, get their name card and record their vehicle number so we can take action in the event of a fraud,” he said, adding that the inspectors who normally move as duos or trios, are required to use the department’s car during such operations.

The operation schedule, he said, was carried out every day except Sunday. It includes the inspection of aedes mosquitoes and fogging, among others.

Dr Navindran said the public is always welcomed to contact the office, health inspectorate unit or health officer in the area for immediate confirmation.

Regarding the blue uniforms worn by the conmen or criminals who allegedly wanted to examine the larvae, he denied it was their departmental attire.

“All health workers wear blue pants, white shirts and name tags, while our health inspectors wear long-sleeved blue shirts, black trousers and neckties ... Everyone has a health identification card which has my signature,” he said.

He added that, in fact, the card cannot be forged as it has a serial number and in the event that it is lost, it must be reported.

Citing the Dec 2 conman case, he said the victim initially refused to file a complaint, but agreed after being asked to do so to clear the department’s name.

Tawau District Police Chief ACP Peter Umbuas previously said he was tracking down three male suspects who were disguised as Tawau health department officials to conduct a search of the larvae at the home of a female victim.

The incident at Mile 6 resulted in the victim losing RM1,000 as the suspect searched her home before fleeing with the valuables. It was the second case reported to him that uses the same modus operandi.



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