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The Straits Times
Sept 23, 2022
Luxury bag reseller WestCloset, which failed to deliver bags after customers paid for them, said it lost almost $100,000 through an investment scam, causing it to be unable to refund its clients.
The company was responding for the first time to a report in The Straits Times earlier this week that at least five police reports had been made against WestCloset for collecting money for second-hand luxury bags but not delivering the goods.
The police had said on Tuesday that a 33-year-old woman linked to the case had been arrested and that investigations were ongoing.
In the statement sent to ST on Friday night, a spokesman for WestCloset said: "Yes, we do owe money to those people mentioned (in the ST article)."
It added: "We were also being scammed into an investment plan which added up to an amount lost of almost $100,000.
"There was also money lost due to our deposit being forfeited from our supplier due to late payment. Not only did we lose our money through scams, but we also lost money to a new dealer overseas."
The company did not provide details of the scam, or the dealer and which country it is from.
"We are very sure that most resellers have gone through the experience we went through. Unlike most resellers in Singapore, they can cover their loses as they have the capital to do so, but we don't," said WestCloset.
The firm said it has made a police report over goods that have gone missing from its store in Novena Regency in Thomson Road.
The spokesman said WestCloset has paid back sums owed to almost half its clients, adding: "We have contacted every single client that we owe money to in order to make settlements amicably.
"But... our clients could not agree on our repayment plans. We do understand our mistake, and we are finding ways to repay our clients."
Details of the repayment plans were not mentioned in the statement.
The spokesman said WestCloset has been in operation since 2012 and noted that it was doing well before the pandemic.
"Our director, Ms Rizky, was in the hospital often due to her medical condition and stress of this business," the spokesman said.
Ms Ringga Dwi Rizky Irianto, an Indonesian, is the director of WestCloset, according to a search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.
The spokesman added: "We also want to say that we are not running away and have engaged a lawyer to settle this matter amicably.
"One thing for sure is after this publicity, we are not giving up and we will still run the luxury business."
On Tuesday, ST reported that a woman lodged a police report in August after she paid $29,900 to WestCloset for a Hermes Birkin bag that never arrived.
Over the past three months, other victims had also paid for Hermes bags that the company promised would be delivered in two to three weeks, but they have yet to see their bags or get refunds.
On Wednesday, WestCloset announced on Instagram that its physical store at Novena Regency would be closed until further notice, but said it is still accepting orders online through its website.