Mistaken for Crazy Rich Asians? Singaporean couple robbed on honeymoon in South Africa

"Few people travel to South Africa so it's quite different. That makes it more memorable," the newlyweds thought.

Little did the couple know, their 12-day honeymoon in Cape Town last October wouldn't be that sweet of a memory.

The couple suffered a loss of roughly $1,500 on the very first day alone, they recounted to Red Ants recently.

They lost another $70 over the subsequent days.

Despite the presence of locals and other tourists, the couple found themselves constantly targeted during their trip.

The reason? For being mistaken as "crazy rich Asians" hailing from Singapore, they believed.

"I know! I've watched Crazy Rich Asians," a petrol kiosk staff replied when he found out that the two were from Singapore. 

At the start of their trip, a male stranger had approached them in a friendly fashion, slinging an arm over the husband as he did so.

But before the wife could pull him away, the stranger immediately unbuckled her husband's bag and tore away with it. In it was S$1,000 worth of South African Rand, as well as a branded wallet, their passports, work permits, room keys and car key.

The bag in question. PHOTO: Red Ants

After they returned to their senses, a woman claiming to be a tourism board staff offered to help them retrieve their important documents.

She immediately called the 'thief' and demanded that he returned their items in English. Not 15 minutes later, another man returned their passports, work permits and car key to them.

They lamented: "We don't know what happened, or if there are any private dealings, but it's very obvious that this 'tourism ambassador' knows this thief."

As if that wasn't enough to put a damper on their spirits, the couple were asked to pull over by the police for apparently flouting traffic regulations. For that, they were asked to either pay a fine or follow him to the police station.

A traffic police that stopped them. PHOTO: Red Ants

Worried that they might be taken to an unknown place, they paid him $20 and were allowed to drive away. Three days later, they were stopped once more and asked to pay another fine of $50.

The couple admitted that they didn't research the potential safety issues about Cape Town prior to their trip, having heard great things about the destination from their friends. 

"We never thought the wild animals would be safer than humans," they said.

Fortunately, they were able to claim compensation for the damages incurred through insurance. 

rainercheung@asiaone.com