JOHOR BARU: The joy of getting married on Valentine's Day was short-lived for a pharmacist and his bride as a group of foreigners walked away with about RM100,000(S$37,000) worth of ang pow money.
Lim Cia Cen, 29, a pharmacist in Adelaide, Australia, who married Rachel Sim, said a total of 550 guests attended their wedding banquet held at a Chinese restaurant in Sutera Mall.
"The thieves walked away with all the ang pow money given by the guests," he said, adding that the collection could be anything between RM70,000 to RM100,000.
Cia Cen said the three thieves were seen loitering outside the banquet hall before the entire collection box went missing.
"They were not our guests but we did not suspect anything when they were near the entrance of the restaurant where the ang pow money was placed," he said.
Cia Cen, who was accompanied by his businessmen father, Lim Sui Keng, 54, claimed that incident happened between 6.30pm and 7.50pm.
He said four people, including his sister, were manning the reception table and the collection was placed under the table.
"He said one of the suspects came to the table pretending to ask about something from my sister while his accomplice sneaked behind the table and took away the box," he said.
Cia Cen said at the time his sister was manning the table alone as the other three people at the counter were ushering guests to their seats.
Sui Keng said that they only realised the ang pow box was missing when the bride and bridegroom were walking into the hall.
"We still put on a happy face as if nothing happened but, later on, word spread among the guests about what had happened with our collection," he said.
The family managed to print out the photos of the two suspects from the photographs taken at the restaurant.