Crowdfunding campaign organiser starts auction for iPhone bought for Vietnamese tourist

Singaporean Gabriel Kang (right), who helped raised funds to buy an iPhone 6 Plus for Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai (second from right), is auctioning the phone to raise funds for a Vietnam orphanage. -- PHOTO: GABRIEL KANG 
Singaporean Gabriel Kang (right), who helped raised funds to buy an iPhone 6 Plus for Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai (second from right), is auctioning the phone to raise funds for a Vietnam orphanage. -- PHOTO: GABRIEL KANG 

SINGAPORE - Singaporean Gabriel Kang, who helped raised funds to buy an iPhone 6 Plus for a tourist at the centre of the recent Sim Lim saga, has started a new campaign.

He is auctioning the iPhone to raise funds for a Vietnam orphanage.

Mr Kang was behind an online campaign to refund Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai, who was reduced to tears after being asked to pay more than he expected by Sim Lim Square mobile-phone store Mobile Air last month.

A video of Mr Pham pleading for a refund from the errant retailer went viral. It shows him kneeling, weeping and begging for his money back at Mobile Air. The factory worker says he went to buy an iPhone 6 for his girlfriend. At first, he was told that he had to pay $950, but another charge of $1,500 was added. Desperate, he breaks down and begs for a refund.

Mr Kang led a crowdfunding effort via Indiegogo to buy Mr Pham an iPhone. He raised $16,000, and bought an 64GB iPhone 6 Plus and some Singapore goodies for the tourist. Mr Pham accepted the goodies, but declined the phone and money as he had accepted an earlier donation.

On Friday, Mr Kang, 37, announced via a Facebook post that he will be auctioning the iPhone via Vietnam e-commerce site Cho Dien Tu to raise funds for an orphanage in Vietnam - the Thien Binh Orphanage.

 

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"Facebook will promote the auction on the site for free while Cho Dien Tu will charge no fees for the auction, absorb the cost of payment processing and ship the product for free. 100 per cent of the funds raised on this auction will go to the orphans of Thien Binh Orphange and managed by Ines Quoico," he stated on his Facebook account.

"The box is sealed and will be autographed by me to verify its authenticity. It will also include a very special gift from me that only the winner will get to see," Mr Kang added.

He added that anyone can bid for the phone as "kindness has no nationality".