Man arrested for trying to swap $237K diamond ring with fake at Tiffany & Co.

Man arrested for trying to swap $237K diamond ring with fake at Tiffany & Co.
via Marcus Reubenstein on Unsplash
Michelle De Pacina
By Michelle De Pacina
January 23, 2024
A Chinese man was arrested in Singapore for attempting to switch a diamond ring with a fake one at a Tiffany & Co. store in Marina Bay Sands. 
What happened: Wu Youquan, 44, was reportedly lured into the scheme by another Chinese national named Chen Hanbo through WeChat, who promised him a reasonable amount for stealing the 3.18-carat ring. Wu was tasked to travel to Singapore from China on Nov. 1 to photograph the 318,000 Singapore dollar ($237,000) diamond ring before he was told to switch it with a counterfeit during his second visit to the store on Nov. 20, 2023.
Busted: Although he was successful in switching out the rings, his plan was foiled when the store manager noticed a difference in the price tag. As a store employee was about to conduct a search, the Wu presented the authentic ring from his pocket and pleaded for forgiveness, leading to his subsequent arrest.
Wu’s appeal: Wu admitted to theft, citing his daughter’s paralysis from an accident as a contributing factor to his offense. In mitigation, Wu, representing himself, appealed for leniency, highlighting that he did not remove the genuine ring from the store. 
Prosecutor’s request: Despite Wu’s lack of prior criminal history in Singapore and his cooperation with investigations, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ng requested a minimum of 42 months’ imprisonment for Wu, emphasizing the highly premeditated nature of his crimes. The potential penalty for theft in a dwelling under Singaporean law could be up to seven years of imprisonment along with a fine. 
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