If you don’t, then watch this video to the end for a recap:
It was rumoured that they might have fled to Thailand, but it turns out that they were in JB after all.
Here’s the update.
Luxury Goods Fugitive Couple Arrested
Yesterday (10 August 2022), the Singapore Police Force received information from the Royal Thai Police that the fugitive couple, 27-year-old Singaporean Pi Jiapeng and his 27-year-old Thai wife, Pansuk Siriwipa, might be hiding in a hotel in Johor Bahru.
It’s unknown how the Royal Thai Police came across this information, or whether the couple had been to Thailand prior to that.
With that information, the SPF immediately sought the help of the Royal Malaysia Police to locate them. And alas: they found the couple today and arrested them.
The couple has since returned to Singapore.
They will be charged tomorrow (12 August 2022).
How They Had Escaped
The couple had fled Singapore without their passports.
Pi’s passport was seized by the police on 27 June, and he was released on bail the next day, pending the completion of investigation. Siriwipa, who was also then assisting the local authorities in the ongoing investigation, surrendered her passport to the police on 30 June.
On 4 July, they fled by hiding in a lorry’s container compartment that was set for Malaysia.
Two men who assisted to smuggle them out have since been charged.
According to ICA, they conduct regular and random operations on departing vehicles daily to deter and detect attempts by people to depart Singapore illegally.
But it seems like the lorry they were in were unfortunately not checked.
How the Couple Managed to Cheat So Much Money
According to the victims’ statements, the luxury good scam started as far back as November 2021.
Their modus operandi is fairly simple: advertise and sell the luxury items at a markedly lower price than the current market value, then slowly gain the customers’ trust by upholding their promise to deliver the luxury goods in a month or less.
Since their bigger customers were either collectors or investors that bought these luxury items to resell and profit, they eventually built a trustworthy reputation with good reviews.
Their supposed legitimacy was only bolstered by the licence they received from the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) after their submitted application to become a registered precious stones and precious metals dealer went through on 4 April.
According to the MinLaw spokesperson, the Ministry saw no grounds to refuse their application because they were conducting regulated dealings at the point of registration.
The couple eventually built a sizable customer base that had more than 200 people.
Once they had baited enough customers and extracted as much money as they feasibly could, the couple started to throw out excuses to explain the delays, such as the Ukrainian conflict causing shipping delays or custom tax issues.
When the victims started catching on, the couple gathered up the money and allegedly pocketed them.
It was said that they pocketed between $32 million to $50 million.
Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News 新明日报