Three men arrested for conspiring to cheat woman of money using fake gold ingots in S'pore

The police seized a number of mini gold-coloured ingots. - Photo: Singapore Police Force

SINGAPORE: Three men were arrested on Thursday (June 20) over their alleged involvement in conspiring to cheat using fake gold ingots.

The men are aged between 52 and 62, the police said in a statement on June 21.

The police said they received a report that a female victim was cheated of S$4,000 after two men handed over “gold ingots” to her for safekeeping.

Preliminary investigations showed that on June 19 at about 1pm, the woman was approached by two men in Tras Street claiming to have found gold ingots while they were digging the ground at an unknown site in Singapore.

The men then claimed that they wanted to send the gold pieces back to China but were unsure of the legal process.

They offered to leave the gold ingots with the victim for safekeeping if she agreed to give them cash as collateral.

Additionally, the men also showed her a document with “old Chinese writings” that resembled an old will, along with a small gold ingot, said the police.

The victim took the two men to a goldsmith shop in Eu Tong Sen Street to verify the authenticity of the small gold ingot. It turned out to be genuine.

The men then took back the genuine gold ingot, gave the victim other “gold ingots” and told her to pay $4,000.

The victim went to the same goldsmith shop to authenticate the other “gold ingots” and was told that those were fake.

By then, the two men had left the shop. Realising that she had fallen for a scam, she alerted the police.

Through ground enquiries, images from PolCam and closed-circuit television camera footage, officers from the Central Police Division identified the two men and arrested them in Aliwal Street on June 20.

The officers also arrested an accomplice after further investigations.

Several items, including more than 80 mini gold-coloured ingots, a piece of paper with Chinese writings and six gold-coloured mini Buddha statues, were seized.

The three men are expected to be charged on June 22 with conspiracy to commit cheating.

The offence carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.

The police have advised members of the public to be wary of such scams and to adopt measures such as buying only from established, authorised or reputable retailers, be wary of offers that sound too good to be true and to enlist a professional’s assistance to verify the authenticity and value of any high value items before making a purchase. - The Straits Times/ANN

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