Branded clothes, luxury watches and cars, receiving the royal treatment at expensive restaurants… It’s not hard to see why the victims got enticed and trusted the couple.
The Straits Times spoke to the victims of the $32 million scam, revealing the luxury lifestyle they led and how they managed to pull the scam off.
If you’ve no idea who the couple is, watch this to the end:
Singaporean Pi Jiapeng, 26, and his Thai national wife Pansuk Siriwipa, 27, lived a life of luxury.
They invited their customers to a triple-storey detached house near Holland Grove, claiming that it was their home. In reality, it was rented for $17,500 a month.
The house had high ceilings, a large dining table, and even a swimming pool. The couple would also show off their watch collection to visiting customers, which was full of rare pieces worth millions of dollars.
The property even had four cars parked in the driveway: a Chevrolet Corvette C8, McLaren 720s, Porsche Macan and Toyota Vellfire. These had a combined value of about $1.5 million.
The couple was also often dressed in branded clothes and luxury watches. For instance, while having dinner with one of the victims, Ms Pansuk was carrying a Hermes Birkin bag worth more than $20,000. Mr Pi wore multiple Cartier bracelets and a brand new Rolex Daytona watch.
They also often ate at high-end restaurants. A victim recalled how waiters rushed to serve the couple when they dined at Yakiniquest Japanese restaurant in Orchard Road. It was almost as if they were treated like royalty, with all the staff recognising and being excited to see them.
At that dinner, the couple and the victim’s bill came up to $700 even when they did not order alcohol. But Ms Pansuk had reassured the victim that the couple dined at such places regularly.
Acted as Unofficial Resellers of Luxury Goods, Was Highly Trusted
The couple exploited the grey area of the luxury goods market: acting as unofficial resellers of hard-to-secure items, which could be sold for thousands more than their official price due to how limited they are.
The Straits Times interviewed 15 victims aged 24 to 52, who came to know about the couple through word of mouth, or through the hundreds of good reviews their business had on Carousell.
The couple’s business, Tradenation, was also highly trusted as it was registered as a precious stones and metals dealer. They even have a certificate from the Ministry of Law, and posted a screenshot of it on their Instagram to establish legitimacy.
BTW, the Ministry of Law has suspended the business’ registration after the couple fled.
Most customers ordered the items to resell them for a profit. The couple even gave their customers the choice of reselling the items back to them, since they always had customers.
Customers would pay either in cash or through bank transfers, after which they would receive a soft copy of the receipt.
The customers’ first few orders went smoothly, which also emboldened them to keep buying from the couple. However, their last few orders never arrived, and the couple fled.
Flipped from Charming to Threatening
The victims said that Ms Pansuk had appeared nice at first, and was very charming and friendly.
However, when questioned about the orders that never arrived, Ms Pansuk would quickly switch from charming to threatening. She often told customers that if they’re scared that the goods won’t be delivered, then they shouldn’t buy from her anymore.
In June, the couple started ignoring calls, and told customers that there were shipment delays. They even set up a Telegram chat group to explain the situation.
In addition, they threatened the victims, saying that those who reported this to the police will not receive their orders.
One week later, the couple ghosted their victims, and then fled the country.
Prices of Victims’ Orders
According to The Straits Times, here are some of the items the victims ordered, and their estimated prices on the grey market:
- Rolex Daytona “John Mayer” Yellow Gold, Green Dial: $120,000
- Rolex GMT-Master II, Oystersteel: $40,000
- Rolex Cosmograph Daytona: $62,500
- Rolex GMT Master II Root Beer: $45,000
- Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Yellow Gold, Black Index Dial, Gold Subdials: $150,000
- Rolex Daytona Rose Gold, Chocolate/Brown Dial: $90,000
- Rolex Daytona Rose Gold, Oysterflex: $145,000
- Patek Philippe Nautilus: $200,000
- Hermes Kelly: > $20,000
- Hermes Birkin: >$25,000
Filled with regret for trusting the couple with so much money, all the victims hope that the couple will be brought to justice.
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