Former Volks Auto employee charged with cheating

People gathering outside Volks Auto, a car dealership in MacPherson Road, after they said that cars they purchased from the dealership had not been delivered.
People gathering outside Volks Auto, a car dealership in MacPherson Road, after they said that cars they purchased from the dealership had not been delivered.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An employee of a car dealership which shut its doors after allegedly collecting over $3.6million from more than 100 buyers without delivering the cars was charged with abetment to cheat on Thursday.

Koh Chek Seng, 33, did not enter a plea to his single charge of conspiring with Volks Auto owner Alvin Loo Mun Yu, and one Jason Koh Chi Kang, to deceive a customer into believing that the company was able to import and deliver a Toyota Harrier 2.0, thereby dishonestly inducing the victim to pay $25,500 in deposit on July 10, 2014.

Koh was remanded for another week to assist in investigations.

District Judge Eddy Tham also granted the prosecution's application to allow Koh to be taken out for investigations.

The police prosecutor told the court that Koh is believed to have been involved in more cases of non-delivery of cars, after receiving payments.

Volks Auto was in the news in Dec last year, after disgruntled customers gathered outside the parallel importer at MacPherson Road to look for Loo.

Frustrated customers also contacted the media in a bid to highlight their plight.

Parallel importers, such as Volks Auto, purchase cars from dealers overseas and sell them in the local market for a profit, typically at prices lower than authorised dealers.

Drawn by advertised prices that were about $10,000 lower than prevailing rates, customers who were allegedly cheated said they each paid $20,000 to $30,000 in downpayments to Volks Auto.

Police later confirmed that Loo left Singapore in early Dec last year, before customers discovered his business was closed on Dec 13 and made the first police report.

If convicted of cheating, Koh faces up to 10 years' jail and a fine.