Luxury goods scam: Fugitive couple fired for another week due to complexity of case

THE CASE

The couple have been accused of deceiving victims who made advance payments for luxury watches and bags. The couple would then have failed to deliver the goods.

Arrest warrants and Interpol red notices have been issued against them after at least 180 police reports have been filed since June against Tradenation and Tradeluxury.

Court documents said the two allegedly participated in a criminal conspiracy to deceive Tradenation customers from May 28 last year to June 27 this year, by tricking them into paying for luxury watches.

They also allegedly conspired to deceive Tradeluxury customers on luxury handbags from January 15 to June 27 this year.

Pi, who was born in China’s Fujian province, was originally arrested in Singapore on June 27. He had his passport confiscated and released on bail of S$15,000 the following day, pending investigations.

Pansuk was assisting police with their investigations and surrendered his passport to officers on June 30.

The two later could not be contacted.

They then reportedly fled the country by hiding in the container compartment of a Malaysian-registered truck, which passed through Tuas Checkpoint on July 4.

Five weeks passed before the Royal Thai Police notified Singapore police that Pi and Pansuk may have been put up at a hotel across the road in Johor Bahru.

The Singapore Police then requested the assistance of the Royal Malaysian Police in locating them. The couple were arrested by Malaysian police on Thursday and handed over to authorities here.

Two Malaysian men – Mohamad Fazli Abdul Rahman, 38, and lorry driver Mohamed Alias, 40 – have previously been charged with conspiring to smuggle the couple out of Singapore.

The men recently indicated that they wish to plead guilty. They were remanded in custody due to the high risk that they could also flee the country.

Under the immigration law, anyone who illegally leaves Singapore or encourages the offense faces at least six months and up to two years in prison and can also be fined up to S$6,000.

Any complicity in offenses in Singapore, even if committed outside the country, is punishable under the law here.

Those found guilty of cheating can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined for each offence.

Sharon D. Cole