Two charged with cheating shipping firm of S$1.5m using fake currency

SINGAPORE — Two foreigners were charged in court on Monday (Sept 4) with cheating a shipping firm of S$1.5 million through a plot that involved using counterfeit notes to buy a vessel.

Court documents showed that Frenchman David Weidmann, 36, and Romanian Iosif Kiss, 39, as well as several unknown individuals, had dishonestly induced Oceanic Group Pte Ltd’s founder and managing director Daniel Chui Mun Yew to authorise a commission of S$1.5 million in cash for the 

According to the firm’s website, the shipping company specialises in cruise ships and has operations in Singapore, China and Hong Kong.

The police said on Sunday that the duo was arrested at the Woodlands Checkpoint last Saturday night, less than three hours after collecting the commission. 

They were found to have had more than S$400,000 on them.

According to the police, the seller was in France to close the transaction for the vessel at around 8pm last Saturday when he discovered that the funds used as a deposit were counterfeit notes.

At that time, the two suspects were already in Singapore to collect the sales commission. 

The victim had called his Singapore office to stop the payment of the sales commission, but was not in time to stop the two men leaving with the money.

Weidmann and Kiss have been remanded for another week to assist in further investigations. 

They are due to appear in court next Monday. 

If found guilty, the men can each be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

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