No bag for their bucks

No bag for their bucks
Former Singapore Airlines stewardess Serene Zhao (above), who is accused of pocketing $500,000 from luxury bag buyers.

When she thought she could land an Hermes Birkin bag at a big discount, she jumped at the chance.

Such bags are hard to come by as they are often out of stock and need to be reserved.

The 41-year-old administrator, who wanted to be known only as Jasmine, said her desire to own the bag led to her losing $5,500 to an acquaintance of her sister-in-law.

She had paid the money as deposit for the Birkin bag. After waiting for eight weeks, she neither received the bag nor got her money back.

It turned out that Ms Jasmine was just one of several women who paid thousands of dollars in deposits and never received the designer bags they ordered from former Singapore Airlines stewardess Serene Zhao.

A number of them went online to complain about Miss Zhao, 30, and it is believed that at least four police reports were made.

In Ms Jasmine's case, she went to the Small Claims Tribunal to try to get her money back. 

Just how much was involved?

Reports by Lianhe Wanbao suggest Miss Zhao could have taken more than $500,000 from her customers.

In an exclusive e-mail interview with The New Paper yesterday, Miss Zhao said the total sum is bigger than the reported $500,000 and that she had also lost money.

She claimed on her Facebook page that she lost nearly $300,000 of her own money to her supplier.

Miss Zhao told TNP: "Total sum of losses are way more than what was reported on the papers. As much as I am very upset of the mishap involving my own investment too, I have to fully focus on the logic (rather) than emotions."

She said she had gone silent as desperate customers tried to get in touch with her because of threatening messages and stress from online postings.

Some of her customers posted her pictures and personal details online, along with their accusations.

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