Three Chinese citizens jailed for selling imitations of Samsung and Apple phones as authentic in S’pore

SINGAPORE – After entering Singapore on social visit passes, three Chinese nationals hatched plans to sell knockoff branded phones purchased in China to victims here.

All three were sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to one count of entrapment each on May 2.

Court documents did not say whether the men knew each other or worked together.

Li Jianxin, 41, arrived in Singapore on February 27. At around 6pm on March 20, he approached his victim near Liang Seah Street and offered to sell him an iPhone 15 Pro Max and a charging cable for $800.

He also provided a forged receipt after claiming that the phone was purchased at an Apple store in Singapore for $1,600.

After negotiating, the victim agreed to buy the phone from Li for $700. He later realized it was fake by comparing his phone with that of his colleague.

Li was arrested on March 21 while trying to leave the country. Investigations revealed that he had purchased the knockoff phone for $200 in China, with the intention of selling it in Singapore.

Li was sentenced to 10 weeks in jail. The prosecution said it had expressed interest in making restitution to the victim.

Pan Weiqi, 29, arrived in Singapore on March 8 with imitation phones bought in China with which he intended to deceive people here, prosecutors said.

At around 2pm on March 17, Pan approached his victim outside Rochor MRT and offered to sell him an iPhone 14 Pro Max and a Samsung mobile phone for a combined price of $600.

He used a forged invoice to trick the victim into believing he had purchased the iPhone at an Apple store in Bugis.

The victim withdrew money to pay Pan, but later realized the phones were fake when he went to a phone store to buy chargers.

Pan was sentenced to nine weeks in jail.

Su Guohua, 49, arrived in Singapore on March 14 and executed his plan that same day.

He approached his victim in a car park near Geylang Bahru at around 6.30pm with an offer to sell an iPhone 15 Pro Max for $350. He claimed that he was in financial difficulties and needed money to buy food.

After the victim negotiated with Su, they agreed to $300 for the phone. The victim then withdrew money from a nearby ATM and paid Su.

The victim was induced to buy the phone from Su because of the significant discount. A new iPhone 15 Pro Max costs more than $2,000 in Apple stores.

The victim filed a police report when he discovered that the phone was fake and took it to a phone store to have it checked.

Prosecutors said a box of similar knockoff iPhones was found inside Su’s hotel room when he was arrested on March 21.

Su was sentenced to one month in jail.

Prosecutors said both Su and Pan were “very uncooperative” during the investigations. Both men have also not made any restitution.

A person found guilty of cheating can be sentenced to prison for up to 10 years and fined.