$32m luxury goods scam: No-bail order remains for couple as investigations continue

Malaysian police arrested Pi Jiapeng (second left) and Pansuk Siriwipa (second right) on Aug 11, 2022, and handed them over to the Singapore authorities. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE

SINGAPORE - Investigations are ongoing in the case of the couple allegedly involved in a luxury goods scam that is said to be linked to undelivered items worth $32 million.

The case involving Singaporean Pi Jiapeng and his Thai wife Pansuk Siriwipa, both 27, has been adjourned for a pre-trial conference on Oct 11.

A pre-trial conference is when the prosecution and defence lawyers come together behind closed doors to discuss how a case is managed.

The couple appeared in court via video link from the Central Police Division on Friday (Aug 26).

The court heard that the order of no bail for the duo, who were dressed in red tops, remained in place.

They first appeared in court on Aug 12, when they were each handed three charges - two for cheating and one charge of leaving Singapore illegally.

They are accused of being involved in a conspiracy to cheat customers of Tradenation and Tradeluxury between January and June.

The amounts said to be involved were not disclosed in court documents.

The pair had allegedly duped victims into believing they would be sold watches and luxury handbags, but had no intention of delivering the items.

In earlier proceedings on Aug 19, the court heard that the case was a complex one involving more than 180 police reports.

Pi, who was born in Fujian province in China, was initially arrested by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on June 27.

He had his passport impounded and was released on $15,000 bail the next day.

Pansuk was assisting the police with investigations and had surrendered her passport to officers on June 30.

The couple became uncontactable and allegedly fled Singapore illegally via the land border on July 4.

Arrest warrants and Interpol red notices were then issued against the couple.

The Royal Thai Police later told the SPF that Pi and Pansuk were possibly staying in a Johor Bahru hotel.

The SPF then asked the Royal Malaysia Police to locate them.

The Malaysian authorities arrested the couple on Aug 11 and handed them over to the SPF that day.

Both of them were refused bail after a judge agreed with the prosecution that they were flight risks.

Two Malaysian men, Mohamed Alias, 40, and Mohamad Fazli Abdul Rahman, 38, allegedly helped the pair flee Singapore by letting them hide in the container compartment of a Malaysia-registered lorry, which then passed through Tuas Checkpoint.

Alias and Fazli were earlier charged in a Singapore district court over their alleged offences and their cases are pending.

For each count of cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.