Woman charged over $5.4m gold scam

A 49-year-old woman who allegedly duped at least five people into giving her more than $5.4 million for bogus gold investments was charged yesterday.

Court documents showed that Vietnamese national Nguyen Thi Thu Lan allegedly cheated one of the victims of $666,048 by deceiving the man into believing that she was selling him 12kg of gold bars.

In a statement yesterday, the police said that several victims reported in January and February that they were approached by the woman, who had claimed to operate a gold brokerage firm.

She allegedly said the company was selling gold at a discounted price.

The victims were then directed to make bank transfers of between $261,000 and $3.54 million, purportedly for buying gold.

However,

Lan allegedly did not fulfil the purchase orders after the payments were made.

Officers from the Ang Mo Kio Police Division identified her through follow-up investigations and an arrest was made on Wednesday.

Preliminary investigations showed that she may be involved in at least five gold investment scam cases, where victims were allegedly cheated of more than $5.4 million, police said.

They added that a 24-year-old man is assisting in investigations into the case.

Lan is due to appear in court again next Friday.

If convicted of cheating, she may be jailed for up to 10 years or fined.

Ng Huiwen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Woman charged over $5.4m gold scam'. Print Edition | Subscribe