SINGAPORE: A man was charged on Thursday (May 28) with cheating a representative of an overseas distribution company of US$251,250 (S$356,400) for personal protection gowns.
Chee Jian Rong, a 35-year-old Singapore permanent resident, was given one charge of cheating.
He is accused of cheating an Anthony Bonacci on Apr 30, by deceiving him into believing that Chee had 150,000 units of Level 2 personal protection gowns.
He gave a sales price of US$502,500 to the man, who transferred a deposit of US$251,250 to a UOB bank account, the charge sheet stated.
The police said in an earlier statement that they were alerted to the case on May 21. The distribution company reported it was cheated of more than US$646,000, which includes the purchase of N95 masks.
After the company transferred the money to a local bank, the items were not delivered and the supplier became uncontactable.
The police identified Chee as the supplier and arrested him on May 26, and more than S$81,000 in cash was seized.
Preliminary investigations showed that he had acquired advance cash payments from the company and transferred them to several local and overseas bank accounts.
The police have recovered more than S$370,000 of the money, with close collaboration with local banks DBS, OCBC and UOB.
Efforts to recover the remainder are ongoing.
Chee was remanded for investigations and will return to court next week.
If convicted of cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.