$32m luxury goods scam: Duo who allegedly helped couple flee intend to plead guilty

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Sep 2, 2022

Two Malaysian men, accused of helping a couple allegedly involved in a $32 million luxury goods scam flee the country, have maintained in a district court on Friday that they intend to plead guilty.

The court heard that one of the men, Mohamed Alias, 40, might be handed one more charge in the future - that of harbouring an offender. Details about this potential charge were not disclosed in court.

No additional charges will be handed to the second man, Mohamad Fazli Abdul Rahman, 38.

They had told the court on Aug 5 that they intended to plead guilty to their charges.

Both are in remand and their cases have been adjourned to Sept 16.

Currently, each man faces two charges of assisting the escape of Singaporean Pi Jiapeng and his Thai wife Pansuk Siriwipa.

According to court documents, Mohamed allegedly helped the couple unlawfully leave Singapore from Tuas Checkpoint at around 7.30pm on July 4 by allowing them to hide in the container compartment of a Malaysia-registered lorry.

Fazli is accused of engaging in a conspiracy with him in arranging the alleged escape.

Pi and Pansuk, both 27, left Singapore after they allegedly failed to deliver $32 million worth of goods to customers.

Pi, who was born in Fujian province in China, was initially arrested by the Singapore police on June 27.

His passport was impounded, and he was released on $15,000 bail the next day.

Pansuk was assisting the police with investigations and had surrendered her passport on June 30.

The couple became uncontactable and allegedly fled Singapore illegally on July 4.

Arrest warrants and Interpol red notices were then issued against the couple.

The Royal Thai Police told the police here that the duo were possibly staying in a Johor Bahru hotel. The police then asked their counterparts in Malaysia to locate the couple.

The couple were arrested on Aug 11 and handed over to the police here that day.

Pi and Pansuk first appeared in court on Aug 12, when they were each handed three charges - two for cheating and one of leaving Singapore illegally.

They are accused of being involved in a conspiracy to cheat customers of Tradenation and Tradeluxury between January and June.

The amounts said to be involved were not disclosed in court documents.

The pair allegedly duped victims into believing they would be sold watches and luxury handbags but had no intention of delivering the items.

Both were refused bail after a judge agreed with the prosecution that they were flight risks.

The cases involving them have been adjourned for a pre-trial conference on Oct 11.

The Straits Times

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