Man alleges prospective buyer stole Rolex watch

$35,000 watch listed on Carousell said to have been swopped for fake one at meet-up

Mr Tang Guoxian had put up his Rolex watch (above) for sale on online marketplace Carousell (left).
Mr Tang Guoxian had put up his Rolex watch (right) for sale on online marketplace Carousell (left). PHOTOS: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS, READER

A property agent thought he was about to clinch a deal on his $35,000 Rolex watch with an interested buyer after listing it on online marketplace Carousell.

But he later found out that the watch appeared to have been swopped for a fake one during a meeting with the buyer.

The 30-year-old man, who gave his name as Mr Tang Guoxian, told Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News yesterday that he had planned to use the money from the sale of the watch to buy a house with his fiancee.

He has since made a police report about the alleged theft.

The police, in response to queries, confirmed that a report has been lodged and investigations are ongoing.

Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Wanbao reported that the watch was worth $35,000. Mr Tang told the newspaper that he was an active Carousell user and would often list Rolex and Panerai watches for sale.

He told Shin Min that the buyer had contacted him on Tuesday at about 5.45pm.

As he was busy at the time, he told his fiancee to meet the buyer at the void deck of his Boon Keng Road home with the watch.

"After looking at the watch, (the buyer) said that he needed some time to consider and then left in a hurry," Mr Tang said.

He added that the buyer had insisted on placing the watch back into its box, and his fiancee did not think too much of his request.

However, when he returned home later that night, he realised that the colour of the watch appeared different and that it also felt lighter. When he realised that he might have been cheated, he tried to contact the buyer but to no avail. He said the buyer has since shut all his social media accounts.

Determined to track him down, he went online and found the man's home address and mobile number. At the address, he met the buyer's mother at the door.

When she heard that her son may be involved in the theft, the woman apologised to Mr Tang and even went on her knees to plead for forgiveness, according to Shin Min.

A man, who claimed to be the buyer's father, told Shin Min yesterday that he was shocked to hear of the case.

He said: "My son is a good person. My family is disappointed to hear of the claims made against him."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2018, with the headline Man alleges prospective buyer stole Rolex watch. Subscribe