Singapore: On Monday (August 20th), two foreigners were sentenced to three years and eight months of imprisonment for participating in a $1.5 million vessel purchase scam.
Kiss Iosif, a 40-year-old Romanian, and David Weidmann, a 37-year-old Frenchman, admitted a charge earlier this month accusing another person of retaining the proceeds of a criminal act.
They tried to leave Singapore underwear for more than S$400,000 but were stopped at the Woodlands checkpoint.
The case was related to a scam last year when the cruise and leisure company Oceanic Group was defrauded of selling a vessel to a foreign buyer whose identity as a foreign buyer was not disclosed in court documents.
In September last year, Danic Chui Mun Yew, general manager of Oceanic Group, went to Paris to collect a deposit for the ship. After receiving a deposit he considered to be 3.5 million euros (S$5.6 million), Mr. Cui instructed his staff to pay the buyer’s representative (Iosif and Weidmann) a commission of S$1.5 million, all of them in Singapore.
However, Mr. Cui later discovered that the deposit was paid with counterfeit banknotes. He instructed his staff to recall S$1.5 million from two men, but they could not, and submitted a police report.
According to court documents, Iosif and Weidmann contacted a person named Boris in August last year to go to Singapore to collect cash.
They handed the money over to another person and received a commission of $5,000 each in return.
After collecting money from Oceanic Group employees, Weidmann and Iosif returned to their hotel. Boris contacted them and told them that each person brought a sum of S$205,000 to Malaysia.
Boris instructed the remaining money to be handed over to another person, telling them to make sure they didn’t pass the cash camera.
The two packed their bags and checked out before going to City City Mall. They handed a suitcase with S$1.08 million to a Dutch accomplice, Nikolic Predrag, who was instructed to wait for them in the toilet there.
On the same day, Iosif and Weidmann hid more than S$200,000 in their underwear and tried to take a long-distance bus to Malaysia.
However, they were arrested at the Woodlands Checkpoint and the money was withdrawn.
Of the S$1.08 million received by Predrag, approximately S$738,000 was recovered after being arrested along with another woman, the French national Nikolic Dalida. However, the remaining S$339,000 has been remitted and the police cannot recover it.
Iosif and Weidmann may have been sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years and fined S$500,000.
Predrag and Dalida were sentenced to two and a half years in jail in June this year.