Scamming is like riding a bike; a person never truly forgets how to ride one, they merely need the courage, or in this case greed, to hop on again.
For 27-year-old Pansuk Siriwipa, she has allegedly carried out a similar scam back in her homeland of Thailand.
Not The First Ruse
If you’re new to the saga, you might want to watch this two-minute summary first:
According to The Straits Times, the woman behind Singapore’s most recent luxury goods scam was once investigated by Thai authorities in 2019.
In Thailand, she was purportedly a part of a business that sold cosmetic products and luxury goods through Instagram.
That business similarly fell apart when customers failed to receive the orders they paid for, and subsequently lodged police reports against the business.
This dark history in Thailand was unearthed after the victims in Singapore were contacted by her Thai victims.
Given that the couple are now wanted criminals worldwide, the Thai media had reported the $32 million luxury goods scam that involved Ms Pansuk and her husband, namely the 26-year-old Singaporean Kevin Pi Jiapeng.
The Thai Victims
It should be noted the following mentioned names are just aliases for the victims.
Cheryl was one of the couple’s victims in Singapore.
She had paid $23,500 for a Rolex that she was going to give her brother and lodged a police report here when she didn’t receive the item.
One of the Thai victims contacted Cheryl on Thursday (21 July).
The Thai woman recounted that she lost over 680,000 baht (S$25,700) after she purportedly ordered several Chanel handbags in 2019 from Ms Pansuk through her Instagram-based business, which sold items from brands like Celine and Gucci and watches from Patek Philippe and Rolex.
The Thai victim, who is a spa manager, also stated that Ms Pansuk acted as the face of the business, and she had four people assisting her.
The formula used in the Thailand ruse has a similar taste to the one employed in Singapore.
The Thai victim confirmed that she received the first few bags she ordered, and they arrived in a timely manner and were in condition.
However, once she started to order more luxury goods, the orders no longer came through.
Hence, she made a police report in mid-2019.
The spa manager sees the similarities too, as she adds, “What happened to us seems to be similar to what the Singaporean victims experienced. We received a few products, ordered more, and that was it.”
Her friend also filed a police report after paying 100,000 baht for a luxury bag that never arrived at her doorstep.
Another Thai victim by the alias of Choi, claimed that she was cheated out of 5 million baht (S$188,727) after placing an order for Hermes, Dior and Chanel bags which were never delivered.
With how notorious Ms Pansuk and Mr Kevin Pi are becoming, they could very well be the next Bonnie & Clyde of the 21st century, except with less murder and gunfire.
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Fate of The Getaway Driver
It is believed that the couple have absconded all the way north to Thailand.
The ICA stated that the couple fled Singapore by hiding in the container compartment of a registered lorry with the licence plate number JUH7245.
The 40-year-old Malaysian man who abetted the couple, Mohamed Alias, has been arrested and charged in court on 15 July.
It was said that Mohamed Alias drove the vehicle harbouring the fugitives towards the Tuas Checkpoint’s departure cargo section at around 7:25pm on 4 July.
Once convicted, he may face a jail term of up to two years and a fine of up to $6,000.
Arrest warrants and Interpol red notices for Mr Pi and Ms Pansuk have been issued.
The Singapore Police Force is also working closely with its foreign law enforcement counterparts to track down the pair of fraudsters and their criminal proceeds.
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