Tradenation luxury goods scam: Couple remanded in prison as investigations continue
Pi Jiapeng and his wife Siriwipa Pansuk remain on remand as the judge notes investigations are likely to be "protracted".
SINGAPORE: The couple allegedly at the centre of a multi-million-dollar luxury goods scam on Friday (Aug 16) were ordered to remain on remand as investigations into the case continue.
Singaporean Pi Jiapeng and his wife, Thai national Siriwipa Pansuk, are accused of deceiving Tradenation customers into paying for luxury watches they did not intend to deliver.
The couple, both 27, also allegedly cheated customers of their other luxury goods firm Tradeluxury into buying luxury handbags.
The alleged offences took place between May 28, 2021 and Jun 27 this year, according to court documents. Victims reported losses of more than S$20 million.
The couple appeared in court via video link from prison, wearing red polo shirts.
Both have been on remand to assist with investigations. The prosecution previously described the case as "complex" and said more time was needed to determine the whereabouts of the money.
On Friday, Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh said that Pi and Pansuk no longer had to be remanded in a specific prison division to assist with investigations.
However, both will remain on remand in prison as a judge previously ordered that they were not to be offered bail given the flight risk.
The couple face charges of illegally leaving Singapore via Tuas Checkpoint on Jul 4, after Pi had been arrested and while Pansuk was assisting with investigations.
They were on the run for about five weeks before being arrested in Malaysia and handed over to Singapore police on Aug 11.
Mr Koh on Friday also requested an adjournment of six weeks as investigations are still ongoing.
The judge noted that the prosecution previously indicated that investigations were likely to be "protracted" given the number of allegations.
The prosecution had described the cheating charges against Pi and Pansuk as "holding charges", adding that investigations were still at an early stage.
Pi and Pansuk will return to court in October for a pre-trial conference, an administrative hearing where the prosecution and defence meet a judge to manage the progress of the case.
Pi is represented by lawyer Bhargavan Sujatha and Pansuk by lawyer Johannes Hadi.
Two men charged with helping the couple flee - Malaysians Mohamad Fazli Abdul Rahman, 38, and Mohamed Alias, 40 - have said that they intend to plead guilty.
The punishment for cheating is a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.
The penalty for leaving Singapore without presenting a passport is up to six months' jail and a fine of up to S$1,000.