Fugitive couple charged


Facing the law: Pi and Pansuk each face up to 10 years’ jail and a fine for each count of cheating. — The Straits Times/ANN

The couple allegedly involved in a luxury goods scam, related to undelivered items worth S$32mil (RM103.8mil), have been hauled to court.

Pi Jiapeng, 26, and his wife, Thai national Pansuk Siriwipa, 27, were each handed two charges of cheating and an additional charge of leaving Singapore illegally.

The court heard the duo were accused of being involved in a conspiracy between January and June to cheat customers of Tradenation and Trade Luxury.

The pair allegedly duped victims into believing they would be sold watches without any intention to deliver the items, the court heard.

The couple appeared together in court via video link and had their charges read to them yesterday.

Pi spoke in English while Pansuk, who wore a black top, spoke through a Thai interpreter.

Pi told the court it was not right for them to leave Singapore illegally.

He said they were facing a lot of pressure at that point in time and had received many death threats.

“It is our mistake to make that decision. We are really very sorry about the trouble brought to the ICA (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority),” he said.

“We will do our best with the SPF (Singapore Police Force) and investigations from now on.”

District Judge Brenda Tan remanded the pair for a week, agreeing with the prosecution that Pi and Pansuk were proven flight risks.

The duo, who were unrepresented, each face up to 10 years’ jail and a fine for each count of cheating.

Pi and Pansuk had allegedly collected payments for luxury items – mostly watches – worth at least S$32mil, before fleeing the country on July 4 without delivering the goods.

At least 180 reports have been lodged since June against the couple, who were wanted by the police and Interpol, the police had said on July 19.

The police had said on Thursday that it received information the day before from the Royal Thai Police that the couple were believed to be staying at a hotel in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

They were arrested at a budget hotel in Skudai, a 20-minute drive from the Causeway. — The Straits Times/ANN

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