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Two men arrested in Singapore over multimillion-dollar ploy to buy vessel using counterfeit notes

Sale took place in France but the suspects fled by the time the seller realised the funds were fake

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 September, 2017, 6:13pm
UPDATED : Monday, 04 September, 2017, 6:15pm

Two men involved in a multimillion dollar ploy to buy a vessel using counterfeit notes have been arrested - less than three hours after they collected S$1.5 million (US$1.11 million) in sales commission.

The duo, aged 36 and 39, were arrested at the Woodlands Checkpoint, the police said. TODAY understands that the suspects are French and Romanian nationals.

According to the police, the seller was in France to close the transaction for the vessel on Saturday at around 8pm when he discovered that the funds used as a deposit were counterfeit notes. The authorities did not specify the type of ship involved in the transaction.

At that time, the two suspects were already in Singapore to collect a sales commission amounting to S$1.5 million for the sale of the vessel. The victim called his Singapore office to stop the payment of the sales commission, but the two men had left with the money by then.

After a report was lodged, the police established the identities of the two men and worked with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to apprehend them. About three hours later, the two men were arrested at the Woodlands Checkpoint with more than S$400,000 (US$294,789) on them.

The two men are expected to be charged with cheating. If convicted, they may each be jailed up to 10 years, and fined.

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