Cabbie freed of beggar exploitation charge

SEREMBAN: A 32-year-old taxi driver has been acquitted and discharged by the Sessions Court here without calling for her defence for allegedly exploiting a man by making him beg for money in public.

Judge Surita Budin said the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against Nurul Hidayah Md Nor that she had exploited the 27-year-old victim.

“The victim, in his testimony, had admitted that he left his house and went begging on his own will as his father had refused to help him. The money he received from the public was also used by him and not given to the accused,” she said.

Nurul Hidayah was charged with committing the offence between May and Nov 7, 2021 at various locations here and in Senawang.

She was charged under Section 27(c) of the Minor Offences Act, which is punishable under Section 12 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act. Offenders can be jailed up to 20 years, fined or both, upon conviction.

Surita said the victim was still found to be begging after the accused was charged.

“There is also no evidence to show that the accused had assaulted the victim for not paying her.

“The court finds the victim’s credibility highly questionable and the accused is hereby discharged and acquitted,” she said.

Nurul Hidayah was represented by Haresh Mahadevan and Razmzani Idris, while Christhoper Enteri Mawan prosecuted.

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