You might have heard of the fugitive couple involved in the recent luxury scam, and the fact that they fled Singapore last month in July.
After they left the country, an arrest warrant for both of them was issued on 16 July.
You can watch this video to know more:
And just yesterday, it was announced that the duo was caught in Malaysia before they were brought back to Singapore.
The couple, comprising Singaporean Pi Jiapeng and Siriwipa Pansuk, his Thai wife, had ties to Tradenation and Tradeluxury, two companies involved in the scam.
The duo, aged 26 and 27, allegedly sold branded items to customers but did not send them the goods after customers paid for them in advance.
According to CNA, at least 180 police reports have been filed against these two companies for their scams, and the couple has cheated customers out of at least $20 million worth of goods as of 17 July.
They are expected to be charged in court today (12 August), and are likely to face charges including criminal conspiracy to commit cheating and illegal departure from Singapore.
But for those wondering what helped bust the case for the cops who’ve been trying to locate the couple for the past few weeks, it seems like one of their accomplices might have something to do with it.
Thai Accomplice Apparently Tipped Police Off After Conflict With Couple
Based on information Shin Min Daily News received, the couple had initially planned to travel north after fleeing to Malaysia, eventually settling down in Thailand.
And while the plan seemed straightforward enough at first, they apparently got into an argument with their accomplice based in Thailand, leaving them stranded in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
According to Shin Min, the couple was also betrayed by their accomplice afterwards.
The accomplice apparently sabo-ed the couple by giving the Thai police information regarding their whereabouts, allowing the police to track them down and find out which hotel in Johor Bahru they were moving into.
After confirming their whereabouts, the Thai police contacted the Singapore Police Force (SPF), allowing the SPF to contact the Malaysian police for assistance.
After the Malaysian police arrested them, they were brought back to Singapore and handed over to the SPF.
You can watch this video for a summary of how they were caught:
Booked Budget Hotel as They Had No More Money
Apart from that, Shin Min also reported that the couple had exhausted all their money at the time of their arrest.
This was also possibly why they ended up having to book a budget hotel to stay in right before their arrest, unlike some of us who are always on the lookout for great deals from budget hotels every time we travel.
Singaporean Victim Went to Thailand to Lodge Report With Local Authorities
And right before their arrest, a Singaporean victim took matters into his own hands by flying over to Thailand with his Thai wife to lodge a complaint with the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) in Thailand.
According to Bangkok Post, the man appeared with his girlfriend and lawyer on Tuesday (9 August) to file the complaint after identifying themselves as victims of the luxury scam carried out by Pi and Pansuk.
They requested for the Thai police to accept their case for legal action.
After submitting their letter of complaint to Pol Lt Gen Jiraphop Puridej, the CIB commissioner in Thailand, the letter was accepted for consideration by the local authorities.
When Shin Min spoke to Fu Guoquan, the 34-year-old man who filed the complaint, he explained that he flew to Thailand with his wife, who is a Thai national, as well as his friend in order to file the report.
He also provided the Thai authorities with information regarding the fugitive couple on the run in hopes that it would help them in tracking the couple down.
Now that the couple has been arrested, he expressed his gratitude towards Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop from the CIB in Thailand as well as the Thai police for aiding in the arrest of the couple.
Were Arrested Before Fleeing Singapore
Before the couple fled the country last month, Pi and Pansuk were arrested in June this year due to suspicions of them being involved in cheating offences.
Pi’s Singapore passport was impounded before he was released on bail, while Pansuk had to surrender her passport to authorities before cooperating with police investigations.
After this arrest, the couple were uncontactable and soon left the country through the Tuas Checkpoint on 4 July.
They fled through hiding in the container compartment of a Malaysia-registered lorry, and both their names were soon uploaded to Interpol’s red notice website on 21 July.
Accomplices to be Charged As Well
Apart from the couple, two Malaysian men who allegedly worked as accomplices to aid the couple’s escape from Singapore will also face charges.
Mohamad Fazli Abdul Rahman, 38, and Mohamed Alias, 40, previously mentioned that they plan to plead guilty.
Both men have since been charged for organising a plan for the couple to flee Singapore by hiding in the container compartment of the lorry, while Mohamed Alias faces two more charges as he was the lorry driver who helped them escape Singapore through Tuas Checkpoint on 4 July.
They both appeared before a district court this month, and are expected to return to court later this month.
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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News