Singapore police receive tip-off from Thai counterparts
Johor police detained a couple involved in luxury goods scam where items worth S$32 million were undelivered on Aug 11, acting on a tip-off from Singapore police.
According to Straits Times, Singapore police have brought Pi Jiapeng, 26, and Thai national Pansuk Siriwipa, 27, back to the republic to face charges of criminal conspiracy to commit cheating and illegal departure the same day..
A warrant of arrest was issued on July 16 and the couple was arrested at a hotel in Johor Baru, following a request from Singapore.
Singapore police (SPF) said they received information on Wednesday from Thai Police that the couple may be staying at a hotel in Johor Baru.
“The SPF immediately sought the assistance of the Malaysian Police to locate the couple. The warrant of arrest was executed by the Johor police on Aug 11,” said SPF.
Pi and his wife, Siriwipa, were handed over to the Singapore authorities on Thursday and will be charged in court on Friday.
At Woodlands checkpoint, Pi and Siriwipa were seen escorted by police officers carrying two black bags, believed to contain personal belongings of the couple found at the hotel.
Singapore police in a statement said, “The Singapore authorities will do whatever is necessary and permissible under Singapore law to pursue and bring to justice those who commit crimes in Singapore, regardless of where they might have fled to. We will also not hesitate to take firm action against fraudsters.”
One victim who paid $280,000 for two Rolex watches and a Patek Philippe watch told Straits Times that he jumped for joy upon hearing the news of the arrests.
“I practically jumped up and told my wife the good news. I feel so relieved. It is half a burden off my chest. The other half is still weighing on me because I’m wondering if I can get my money back,” said the 48-year old victim.
Straits Times also interviewed another victim, Cheryl who paid $23,500 for a Rolex for her brother and was worried her money was as good as gone.
“Now that they are caught, there is hope again. I’m very much looking forward to getting some closure. I really hope all of us – the victims – can get our money back,” she said.
The victim added: “We are grateful to the authorities, including the ones overseas, for this. Without their help, we would not have known what to do.”
The authorities said last month the couple had fled Singapore in a container compartment of a lorry on July 4.
It was earlier reported that Pi was arresrtd on June 27 for his suspected involvement in cheating offences. His passport had been impounded and he was released on bail the next day.
Siriwipa was not arrested then but was assisting with police investigations. She had surrendered her passport on June 30.
The couple then became uncontactable and fled Singapore on July 4.
Last month, Singapore police had said at least 180 reports have been lodged since June against the couple. Their victims claimed they had made advance payments for luxury watches or luxury bags to the couple, who failed to deliver them.
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