Jover Chew and 4 others arrested over cheating cases at Sim Lim Square

Tourist Pham Van Thoai (second from right), his girlfriend and Mr Gabriel Kang, who raised more than $15,500 online last November. -- PHOTO: GABRIEL KANG
Tourist Pham Van Thoai (second from right), his girlfriend and Mr Gabriel Kang, who raised more than $15,500 online last November. -- PHOTO: GABRIEL KANG
Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai was in tears after he was refused a refund on his iPhone 6 purchase. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE 
Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai was in tears after he was refused a refund on his iPhone 6 purchase. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE 
Plain-clothes police investigators leaving former mobile phone shop Mobile Air in Sim Lim Square with boxes of documents and products on Nov 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO FILE 
Plain-clothes police investigators leaving former mobile phone shop Mobile Air in Sim Lim Square with boxes of documents and products on Nov 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO FILE 
Jover Chew (above) and his shop became infamous after videos were posted last November of a crying Vietnamese tourist begging staff at the shop to refund his money. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE
Jover Chew (above) and his shop became infamous after videos were posted last November of a crying Vietnamese tourist begging staff at the shop to refund his money. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

SINGAPORE – Jover Chew, the owner of now-defunct Mobile Air, and four other men were arrested on Wednesday for a series of cheating cases at Sim Lim Square.

The five men arrested were between 31 and 38 years old.

The police said they had received several reports against Mobile Air in 2014 for dishonest sales practices in which customers were coerced into buying mobile phones and in-house warranties at inflated prices.

These victims ended up paying for the mobile phones at much higher prices or had to pay fees to cancel the deal.

Chew, 32, and his shop became infamous after a video of a crying Vietnamese tourist begging staff at the shop to refund his money went viral in November 2014.

Factory worker Pham Van Thoai, who went to Mobile Air to buy an iPhone 6 for his girlfriend, was initially quoted a price of $950. But he was later asked to pay an additional $1,500 for a warranty. 

Mr Thoai was told that if he failed to pay the additional amount, he would not only lose the $950 but also the new phone. He knelt down, pleading with Chew to return his money.

After the video went viral, online vigilantes posted Chew's personal details online, driving him out of the mall.

A crowdfunding campaign was initiated to raised funds to buy a new phone for Mr Thoai. About $15,500 was raised, with $1,538 used to buy an iPhone 6 for Mr Thoai. But he declined the gift, accepting only about $200 worth of food items from Singapore.

lesterh@sph.com.sg

chuimin@sph.com.sg


Read more about the case involving the Vietnamese tourist here.