Thumbs up for police team that brought Jover Chew to justice
EVER since Jover Chew and his four associates were jailed in November last year for cheating customers at their Sim Lim Square store Air Mobile, the police have not seen any more cheating cases at that mall, Lucky Plaza or People's Park Complex.
These three commercial buildings were former hot spots for complaints of unfair business practices.
Led by Superintendent
Aileen Yap, 38, a team of 22 investigating officers from the Central Division looked into over 100 police reports filed against Air Mobile in 2014.
For their role in effectively curtailing the number of cheating cases in Singapore, Supt Yap's team was commended by the Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck at a ceremony yesterday.
In total, 154 individuals and 211 teams were presented with commendations. There were also four special commendations given out for rejecting bribes.
Supt Yap said Chew had been under police investigation even before he became known for trying to give one customer more than $1,000 in coins as a refund, and later for making another customer beg for a refund on bended knee.
She had formed the team in September 2014, before Chew became a household name. After two months of gathering evidence, the team raided Air Mobile in November that year, at about the time he began to gain infamy online.
"The whole investigation process was very long-drawn but we are happy that, at the end of the day, justice was served," she said.
Some of the biggest challenges came from victims who were reluctant or unable to help with investigations.
Chew targeted foreign nationals, many of whom earned low wages and had a poor command of English. Supt Yap's team found that many of those who made the complaints had left Singapore, and it was hard to get in touch with them.
Others were unconvinced that they would get any compensation and wanted to drop the case.
"This case was unprecedented. Even when we went to trial to prosecute Jover Chew, we felt it was 50-50 on whether we could convict him," said Supt Yap.