Jover Chew and 4 ex-staff charged with cheating

Jover Chew and 4 ex-staff charged with cheating

Jover Chew, the owner of the Sim Lim Square mobile shop where a Vietnamese tourist begged for a refund, was yesterday charged with cheating 25 people last year.

The total amount involved was $14,449, with each alleged victim claiming to have been cheated of between $199 and $1,350.

The 33-year-old was also charged with criminal intimidation, for threatening to have a victim's work permit revoked if he did not pay $600.

Chew, who is represented by lawyer Chia Kok Seng, did not enter a plea. He walked out of the State Courts later in the day, after his mother posted his $40,000 bail.

Both Madam Chew and her son, who has reportedly been unemployed for the past five months and occasionally helps at his mother's hawker stall, declined to comment yesterday.

A pre-trial conference has been fixed for June 25.

Chew was arrested with his four alleged accomplices, all of whom were staff of the now-defunct Mobile Air, on Wednesday.

Koh Guan Seng, 38, faces 15 counts of cheating involving $9,789. Kam Kok Keong, 31, was charged with eight counts involving $3,710. Edmund Lim Hong Ching, 33, faces two counts of cheating involving $1,600. Kelvin Lim Zhi Wei, 32, was charged with one count involving $330.

The four were all unrepresented but indicated to the court they would plead guilty. Their cases will be heard again on June 19.

Mobile Air gained notoriety after Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai was seen kneeling and pleading for his money in a video which went viral last November.

The factory worker alleged that he had been quoted a price of $950 for an iPhone 6, but was later asked to fork out an additional $1,500 for a warranty.

Chew also came under the spotlight for refunding a woman $1,010 in coins, which included one- and five-cent coins that came up to 18kg last October.

The woman from China had turned to the Small Claims Tribunal after Mobile Air overcharged her for a mobile phone.

Mr Thoai and the woman were not among those named in the charges against Chew.

But several police reports were lodged last year against Mobile Air by other customers who said they had been coerced into buying mobile phones and in-house warranties at inflated prices.

"These victims ended up paying for the hand phones at much higher prices or had to pay fees to cancel the deal," said the police, after the five men were arrested.

For each cheating offence, Chew and his accomplices face up to 10 years' jail and a fine. If convicted of criminal intimidation, Chew also faces up to two years in jail, a fine or both.

This article was first published on May 30, 2015.
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