Couple Who Scammed $32 Million Had Their Passports Impounded But Still Allegedly Fled S’pore


If you successfully fooled more than 180 people in a luxury good scam and racked up $32 in ill-begotten money, what would you do?

Flee with the money and live out the rest of your life in luxury, probably.

Which is unsurprising what the couple that ran the scam did.

The Couple of Fraudsters

On Tuesday (19 Jul), a police spokesperson said that there were at least 180 reports lodged against the couple who allegedly failed to deliver the luxury goods their customers paid for.

The undelivered items mostly comprised high-end watches, and some branded bags, which amounts to $32 million at least.

The reports were made against two companies, Tradenation and Tradeluxury.

On 27 June, a 26-year-old Singaporean man was arrested for his suspected involvement in cheating offences.

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.

Image: Shin Min Daily News 新明日报

However, the couple became uncontactable afterwards.

To The Straits Times’ knowledge, the woman is a Thai national.

The police also revealed that they arrested a 40-year-old Malaysian man last Wednesday. He purportedly helped the couple leave Singapore on 4 July.

The Malaysian was charged last Friday (15 Jul) with abetting another person to leave Singapore by illegal means.

If the couple departed from Singapore 16 days ago… They could literally be anywhere right now.

The police are “working closely” with their foreign law enforcement counterparts to track down the couple and the criminal proceeds.

Warrants of arrest and Interpol red notices have also been issued against the couple.

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The Luxury Good Scam

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