SINGAPORE: Three men have been arrested for allegedly using fake gold ingots to cheat a woman of S$4,000 (US$2,900), police said on Friday (Jun 21).

Police received a report at about 3.15pm on Wednesday that a woman was cheated of her money after two men handed her the gold ingots for “safekeeping”.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the victim was approached by the two men along Tras Street at about 1pm on Wednesday, claiming they had found gold ingots during an excavation at an unknown site in Singapore.

The men said that they wanted to send the gold ingots back to China but were unsure of the legal process. They then offered the gold ingots to the victim for “safekeeping” in exchange for cash as collateral.

The men also produced a document in old Chinese writings that resembled an old will, along with a small gold ingot, police said.

The victim brought the two men to a goldsmith shop along Eu Tong Sen Street to verify the authenticity of the small gold ingot. The piece was verified to be genuine.

The two men then took back the genuine gold ingot and handed over the other gold ingots to the victim, telling her to pay S$4,000 as collateral.

When the victim went back to the same goldsmith shop to authenticate the other gold ingots, they were found to be fake.

She alerted the police after realising she had been scammed and that the two men had left the area.

Police established the identity of the two men and arrested them along Aliwal Street on Thursday.

Further investigations also led them to arrest an accomplice and seize more items, including more than 80 pieces of mini gold-coloured ingots, a piece of paper with Chinese writings and six gold-coloured mini Buddha statues.

The three men, aged between 52 and 62, will be charged in court on Saturday for conspiring to cheat.

If convicted, they may be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

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