Jover Chew charged with cheating 25 victims at Sim Lim Square

Jover Chew charged with cheating 25 victims at Sim Lim Square

SINGAPORE - Jover Chew Chiew Loon, owner of the now defunct mobile phone shop Mobile Air, was bailed on Friday afternoon after being charged in court earlier for cheating.

According to reports, his mother posted $40,000 bail.

The 33-year-old was charged on Friday with 25 counts of cheating, which involved a total of $14,449, and one count of criminal intimidation.

Of the 25 cases of cheating, 24 involved victims who were foreigners, reported Lianhe Wanbao.

Chew and four other men, all of whom were his former employees, were arrested on Wednesday.

Koh Guan Seng, 38, was charged with 15 counts of cheating involving $9,879. Kam Kok Keong, 31, faces eight charges of cheating involving $3,710.

Edmund Lim Hong Ching, 33, faces two counts of cheating involving $1,10 and $16,00, and Kelvin Lim Zhi Wei, 32, faces one count of cheating involving $330.

Police said they had received several reports against the Sim Lim Square shop last year for dishonest sales practices, whereby mobile phone customers were coerced into buying handphones and in-house warranties at inflated prices.

These victims ended up paying for the mobile phones at much higher prices or had to pay fees to cancel the deal.

One of the victims included Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai, who was filmed begging on his knees and in tears after Chew refused to refund his money for a $950 iPhone 6 that he had purchased. Pham was duped into signing up for a $1,500 warranty package for the phone. He was reported to have recovered only $400.

The video of the incident went viral online and sparked outrage among Singaporeans. Chew's personal details were also posted on the Internet by online vigilantes, driving him out of business.

In another incident, Chew refunded a woman $1,010 in one- and five-cent coins last October.

The woman from China had turned to the Small Claims Tribunal after Mobile Air charged her an additional $1,400 for a mobile phone.

Lianhe Wanbao reported on Friday that one of the charges on criminal intimidation had involved Chew threatening to cause a victim's worker permit to be revoked if he was not paid $600.

The incident happened in October last year.

For their cheating offences, Chew and his accomplices face up to 10 years in jail and a fine. Chew faces up to two years' jail, a fine, or both, for criminal intimidation.

Chew's next hearing will be on June 25.

klim@sph.com.sg

 

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