Couple 'uncontactable' after customers place orders for luxury goods worth $32m
Some 200 people who entrusted a couple with millions of dollars in total to buy branded watches and bags for them have been left high and dry after the couple allegedly disappeared last month.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, one customer said he asked the couple to purchase six Rolex and Patek Philippe watches for a sum of $700,000, but has yet to receive the goods.
The customer, known as Huang, said he trusted the couple as he had ordered a $26,000 Rolex from them last year and received the watch after a month. He had also verified that the Rolex was authentic.
Said Huang, 37, who contacted the couple through their Instagram account: "The price they offered was about 10 per cent lower than the market price, so it (felt like it) was worth it."
After months of waiting with no watches in sight, Huang asked the couple for an explanation, whereupon he was added to a Telegram group.
"I discovered that all the customers in the group had also not received their goods," said Huang, who lodged a police report on July 1.
Another customer, Zhang, told Shin Min that she was helping a friend buy a Rolex for almost $20,000 in May.
"The couple told me that they travel to Switzerland to buy the products and so it's cheaper," said Zhang, 29, who works in marketing.
She said the couple told her the goods would be delivered in two weeks. But after weeks of waiting in vain, Zhang lodged a police report on July 2.
According to her, at least two other customers shared with her their similar predicaments. One recent university graduate reportedly transferred more than $40,000 to the couple to purchase branded bags, hoping to flip the bags for a profit and use the money to pay off her tuition loan. She, too, has yet to receive the bags.
Another customer told Shin Min that he found the couple through Carousell and paid them $78,000 in June for three Rolex watches.
The self-employed 50-year-old alleged that after waiting for two weeks, his requests for a refund were unsuccessful. He eventually made a police report on July 1 after not receiving a reply from the couple.
All three customers told Shin Min that there are about 200 people in the Telegram group, and they estimated the value of goods owed at around $32 million.
Huang said the couple initially told him the delays were due to the conflict in Ukraine, as well as tax issues that might take up to three months to be resolved.
They also told him the goods had already arrived in Singapore, but that the customs tax was still being processed.
"When some people in the group said they wanted to make a police report, they then said they would deliver the goods only to those who didn't make a police report," Huang said.
Shop in Tanjong Pagar
Shin Min reportedly visited a shop in Tanjong Pagar registered under the man's name, and found the entrance shuttered.
Nearby tenants told reporters that the shop has been closed for four or five days.
"Over the past few days, about 10 people have come to ask about the owners' whereabouts. I'm also curious about what has happened," said one tenant.
Neighbours of the couple at their Holland Road residential address told Shin Min that they had not seen the pair for over a week.
They said the young couple moved into the landed property about a year ago.
Residents also said they have noticed several people coming to the house to look for the couple over the past two months. The most recent incident was last week, when four or five men knocked on the door and shouted to see if anyone was home.