SINGAPORE — The couple who had fled Singapore after allegedly failing to deliver luxury goods worth tens of millions to their customers have been arrested and returned to Singapore from Johor Bahru after being on the run for five weeks.
Pi Jiapeng, a 26-year-old Singaporean man, and his 27-year-old Thai wife, Pansuk Siriwipa, returned on Thursday to face charges of criminal conspiracy to commit cheating and illegal departure from the country, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a press release on Thursday (11 August).
The couple will be charged in court on Friday.
"SPF has been working closely with various foreign law enforcement agencies to secure the couple’s return to Singapore," the police said, adding that a warrant of arrest was issued against the couple on 16 July.
On Wednesday, the SPF received information from the Royal Thai Police that the couple might have been putting up at a hotel in Johor Bahru, it noted.
The SPF then immediately sought the assistance of the Royal Malaysia Police to locate the couple.
The Royal Malaysia Police in Johor Bahru executed a warrant of arrest against the duo on Thursday and they were handed over to Singapore authorities on the same day, the SPF said.
"The Singapore authorities will do whatever is necessary and permissible under Singapore law to pursue and bring to justice those who commit crimes in Singapore, regardless of where they might have fled to. We will also not hesitate to take firm action against fraudsters," it added.
Pi was first arrested by the Singapore police on 27 June, and released on bail the next day with his passport impounded. Pansuk, who was assisting the police with their investigation, surrendered her passport to the police on 30 June.
The duo subsequently became uncontactable and later fled Singapore by hiding in a container compartment of a lorry on 4 July. Two Malaysian men, including Mohamed Alias, 40, have been arrested and charged with aiding the fugitives in their escape.
Interpol red notices issued against the couple were published online on 21 July.
At least 180 reports have been lodged with Singapore police since June against two companies, Tradenation and Tradeluxury, which Pi and Pansuk are associated with.
Their victims claimed that they made payments for luxury watches or bags to the companies, which then failed to deliver the goods. Investigations into the case are ongoing.
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