A couple in Singapore, reportedly a relatively young husband-and-wife duo, are accused of taking some S$32 million from hundreds of people over a half-a-year period, but failing to deliver the luxury goods ordered through them.
They have since become uncontactable, prompting police reports to be lodged by those affected.
Three of those who paid up but did not get their items, then spoke to Shin Min Daily News.
They said the couple, who supposedly specialises in procuring luxury goods for others, did not make good on the deals.
The three customers also told Shin Min that there are about 200 people in a Telegram group, who have allegedly paid money to the couple, but did not receive their goods, which included branded watches and bags.
The couple allegedly became uncontactable in June 2022.
S$700,000 for 7 branded watches
One 37-year-old customer, who contacted the couple through Instagram initially, told the Chinese press he wanted to buy six Rolex and Patek Philippe watches via the man and woman.
He claimed he placed an order some time in January or February 2022.
The cost was S$700,000.
No goods changed hands since.
He was confident with placing this order as he had ordered a S$26,000 Rolex watch in 2021 and received the item after a month.
The Rolex watch was verified as genuine, the customer said.
He explained why the deal was attractive: "The price they offered was about 10 per cent lower than the market price, so it was worth it."
He then asked the couple for the reason after not receiving his subsequent seven watches.
He was then added to a Telegram group in end-June by the couple.
"I discovered that all the customers in the group had also not received their goods," he said.
He lodged a police report on July 1.
He said the couple initially told him the delays were due to tax issues that could take up to three months to be resolved, as well as citing the conflict in Ukraine as one of the reasons.
They also allegedly told him the goods had already arrived in Singapore, but the customs tax was still being processed.
"When some in the group said would go to the police, the couple then said they would deliver the goods only to those who didn't make a police report," the customer said.
S$20,000 for a Rolex watch
Another customer, a woman, told Shin Min that she was helping a friend buy a Rolex watch for almost S$20,000 in May 2022.
"The couple told me that they go to Switzerland to buy the products and it's cheaper," said the woman, 29, who works in marketing.
The woman was told the goods would be delivered in two weeks.
She lodged a police report on July 2 after waiting for weeks.
3 Rolex watches for S$78,000
Another customer, who is 50 and self-employed, found the couple initially through Carousell and paid them S$78,000 in June for three Rolex watches.
He waited for two weeks and his requests for a refund were unsuccessful.
He made a police report on July 1 after not receiving a reply from the couple.
S$40,000 for branded bags
It was also reported that one recent university graduate allegedly transferred more than S$40,000 to the couple to purchase branded bags.
The objective was to resell the bags and use the profits to pay off her tuition loan.
But the branded bags never arrived
No one at shop or home
Shin Min visited a shop in Tanjong Pagar supposedly run by the couple and registered under the man's name.
The entrance was shuttered.
Nearby tenants said the shop has been closed for four or five days.
Shin Min also visited the couple's Holland Road residential address.
Neighbours of the couple said the man and the woman have not been seen for over a week.
The young couple reportedly moved into the landed property about one year ago.
Residents also said several people were seen coming to the house to look for the couple over the past two months.
The most recent incident was at the start of July.
Some four or five men shouted to see if anyone was home after they knocked on the door.
Top photo via Shin Min Daily News