Carousell permanently suspends user, 17, who fled with man's $12k gold chain during meetup

Carousell has permanently suspended a user who fled with a man's gold chain during a meetup and taken extra measures to ensure that he does not return to the platform.

Stomper Kenneth, a 29-year-old debt collector, said a youth had tried to rob him of the $12,800 chain at Block 695 Jurong West Central 1 in the early hours of Thursday (April 1).

In a phone interview with Stomp, Kenneth shared a harrowing account of how he chased after the culprit, caught up with him and pinned him down before calling the police. During the pursuit, Kenneth fell down and sustained injuries.

The police told Stomp that a 17-year-old male youth was arrested for criminal breach of trust and investigations are ongoing.

Responding to a Stomp query, Ms Su Lin Tan, Carousell's chief of staff and vice president of operations, said in a statement on Friday (April 2): "The trust and safety of our users is of utmost importance to us.

"Carousell has taken immediate action to permanently suspend the buyer’s account from our marketplace.

"We understand that the buyer has been apprehended by the authorities and we are on standby to assist with any information needed for the investigation.

"We have taken extra measures to ensure that they will not be allowed to return to our platform."

Ms Tan said Carousell has also reached out directly to the seller to understand how it can provide assistance and support for the case.

She added: "As a classifieds platform that facilitates transactions between virtually anyone on the open marketplace, education is a key piece to ensuring that users make informed decisions and transact safely on our platform.

"We regularly share safety tips to educate users that if they choose to meet up, they should opt to meet in well-lit public places.

"We also strongly encourage our users to use our trusted escrow payment solution, Carousell Protection when making any form of transaction on Carousell, be it an online transaction or a meet-up.

"Carousell Protection, previously known as CarouPay, allows us to hold the buyer’s payment until a transaction is verified successful by both buyer and seller.

"Hence, in a case like this, the seller would be protected, as the buyer’s payment would have already been made on the platform and held by Carousell, giving the buyer no incentive to attempt to flee from the meetup.

"We take every opportunity to prompt our users to deal safely with Carousell Protection, with advisories plugged in throughout the purchase journey - during the listing process for sellers, and within listings and direct chats for buyers.

"Marketplace safety is a never-ending effort. Carousell will continue to dedicate its resources to ensuring that its users can buy and sell with peace of mind."