Businessman duped in luxury Rolex watch deal

KUANTAN: A businessman thought he had found a genuine buyer for his limited-edition Rolex Explorer II luxury watch but ended up falling victim to a well-organised scam syndicate.

To secure the victim's trust, the prospective buyer even paid RM200 as "transportation fees" and handed RM4,000 cash to the 51-year-old victim who was identified only as Andy before promising the remaining RM45,000 through online transfer.

The buyer even brought the victim to his high-end condominium unit in Kuala Lumpur and provided receipts as proof that the online fund transfer for the remaining RM45,000 was genuine. However, the payment never arrived.

Andy, who was seeking assistance from Teruntum assemblyman Sim Chon Siang to track down the culprit, said he had put up an advertisement to sell the watch on his son's Facebook page last week.

"I bought the watch in 2015 and the value increased over the years. I have sold several similar items in the past and early this month I decided to sell the branded watch.

"The buyer, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, introduced himself as Sen and expressed interest in purchasing the watch. Concerned that Sen might not turn-up, I told him to pay for my transportation from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur and he deposited RM200," he said, adding that the watch was worth around RM52,000.

Andy said he met Sen at the Rolex Service centre in Kuala Lumpur on April 17 and since the watch had some minor defects, he agreed to sell it for RM49,000.

"The buyer told me to follow him to his luxury condominium in the town centre as his wife was responsible for handling his finances. I was quite concerned but obliged and followed him to the unit to complete the deal.

"When we reached his unit, the man paid RM4,000 cash and told me that he will transfer the remaining RM45,000 through online banking. Minutes later, Sen showed me a receipt as proof that he had completed the process to transfer the RM45,000," he said

However, Andy said when he realised that Sen had transferred the cash through Interbank GIRO and not instant transfer, he alerted Sen who immediately called the bank and spoke to an officer to cancel the transfer.

"I suspect the bank employee was also a syndicate member as he told us that since it was already past 5pm, the transfer could not be cancelled. Sen assured me there was nothing to worry about and the cash would be in my account around 11pm the same day.

"I pitied Sen as he seemed to be doing his best to make sure the money reached me and that was my biggest mistake as I gave him the watch before returning to Kuantan. When there was no cash as promised in my bank account, I tried calling the man about 11pm but he had blocked my number," he said, adding that he lodged a police report here yesterday.

Andy said the receipts allegedly from the bank which were provided by Sen as proof of payment for the RM45,000 were believed to be fake, printed by the syndicate members to dupe him.

He said the Rolex Explorer II watch had the serial number 407DY240 and reminded the public to immediately contact the police if someone tried to sell the stolen item to them.

Meanwhile, Sim said he hoped police will be able to assist since Andy has a picture of the suspect and details of the condominium where the man allegedly stays in Kuala Lumpur.

"This is a well-organised syndicate who lay out their plans perfectly to cheat their victims. They are prepared to invest a small sum of money on the victim as long as they can reap bigger profits," he said.

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