Two Hong Kongers brought in imitation watches that looked so real, they even fooled several watch shops.
Delivery driver Cheung Siu Wa, 50, and his 33-year-old godson, Chow Chun Tung, eventually duped four shops into paying them $18,900 for six fake luxury watches.
Yesterday, the pair were each given 14 months' jail after they admitted to two of four counts of abetment by conspiracy to cheat.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jeslyn Chionh said Cheung and Chow had bought Chopard and Cartier watches in Japan and Hong Kong at a significantly lower price as they were high-grade imitation watches.
They arrived here on Feb 15 and sourced out watch shops where they could sell their pieces as genuine, and for the best price.
They created a WhatsApp chat group with a third unknown person and shared information about the price each of them was offered and models the shops wanted.
After deciding where they would get the best deals, Cheung and Chow split up and went to a shop in People's Park Complex and Lucky Plaza, and two at The Bencoolen between Feb 15 and 16.
On Feb 16, Chow went to Brightime Watch Shop in Bencoolen Street and said he wanted to sell his watches as he had gambled away all his money and needed some to gamble again. In reality, the duo had not been to any casinos in Singapore during the trip.
Chow presented one Cartier Ballom Bleu watch with an accompanying warranty booklet, and one Chopard Imperiale watch to the owner, who accepted them and paid him a total of $5,400 in cash.
The same day, Cheung went to Horological Restoration Centre at Lucky Plaza and said he wanted to sell a Cartier Santos watch.
When asked for the watch certificate, Cheung left before returning with it. He sold the imitation Cartier for $4,100 in cash.
The other two cheating offences involving Watch Time at People's Park Complex and YG Watches at The Bencoolen were taken into consideration. Two victims later reported to the police that they had been sold fake watches and Cheung and Chow were arrested.
District Judge Mathew Joseph agreed with the prosecution that the offences were pre-meditated, involved a significant sum of money and there were aggravating factors.
"It is in the public interest that the court imposes a sentence that is not just a deterrent, but also sends a strong signal to potential offenders that Singapore is not a safe haven for them to come and commit their offences with impunity," he said. The maximum punishment for cheating is 10 years' jail and a fine per charge.