ICA Explains How $32 Million Scammer Couple Had Fled S’pore Even Without Passports


Nowadays, many of us are stuck in Singapore because our passports have expired.

But a couple managed to leave the country even when their passports are impounded.

Here’s how they did it.

ICA Explains How $32 Million Scammer Couple Had Fled S’pore Even Without Passports

On 27 June, a 26-year-old Singaporean man was arrested for his suspected involvement in cheating offences of about $32 million. His passport was seized by the police, and he was released on bail the next day, pending the completion of investigation.

His 27-year-old wife, who was also assisting the local authorities in the ongoing investigation, surrendered her passport to the police on 30 June.

So both should be in Singapore since then, right?


Warrants of arrest and Interpol red notices have been issued against the couple, because they somehow managed to flee Singapore.

Today, the ICA told The Straits Times how they left Singapore without passports.

Well, they did it the old-fashioned way: a Malaysian, who has since been charged, hid them in a lorry’s container compartment.

This happened on 4 July, so it’s unknown whether the couple are still in Malaysia.

An ICA spokesperson said, “ICA takes a serious view of attempts to enter or depart Singapore illegally and will not hesitate to prosecute offenders for such cases.

“We are working closely with the relevant authorities on this case.”

How the Couple Managed to Cheat So Much Money

According to the victims’ statements, the luxury good scam started as far back as November.

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 booked it.


Tradenation’s registration has since been suspended due to ongoing police investigations.  

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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News 新明日报