2 men charged with theft after allegedly switching genuine Rolex with fake copy

Mr Thomas Tong Guo Xian had advertised the Rolex GMT 2 watch worth $29,500 for sale on the online marketplace Carousell in October 2017. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO READER

SINGAPORE - Posing as interested buyers of a Rolex watch, two men allegedly swopped the genuine timepiece with a fake copy before fleeing.

But not for long.

On Thursday (Feb 1) Jim Bradley Misso Wen Ping, 20, and Joshua Chua Yongcheng, 24, were each charged with one count of stealing the Rolex GMT 2 watch worth $29,500 from property agent Thomas Tong Guo Xian at around 9.15pm on Jan 22.

Mr Tong, 30, had advertised the watch for sale on the online marketplace Carousell in October last year.

According to earlier reports, he had planned to use the proceeds to buy a home with his fiancee.

Police said in a statement on Wednesday that the two young men contacted Mr Tong to view the watch.

The pair then went to Mr Tong's Upper Boon Keng Road flat.

Police added: "The victim facilitated the request and handed the watch to the suspects for viewing.

"It is believed that the genuine Rolex watch was replaced with an imitation version by one of the suspects before it was handed back to the victim."

Court papers did not reveal the identity of the person who allegedly replaced the watch.

Mr Tong alerted the police the next day. Officers from Bedok Police Division managed to track down Misso and Chua through the aid of security camera footage and extensive ground enquiries.

The pair were arrested on Tuesday at Tuas Checkpoint and police said the genuine Rolex has been recovered.

On Thursday, they were each offered bail of $10,000 and will be back in court on Feb 8.

If convicted of theft, they can each be jailed for up to three years and fined.

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