TAIPEI (The Straits Times/ANN) — Taiwanese singer and television personality Ting Hsiao-chin (丁小芹) has become a wanted woman, following her failure to surrender herself to serve her 2½-year jail term.
The 41-year-old had been charged and sentenced to jail in Taiwan for scamming customers online into buying counterfeit luxury goods, such as Chanel handbags. She was briefly a singer who released two albums in 1999 and also known for once dating boy band 5566’s Tony Sun.
Ting was supposed to begin serving her jail term on Wednesday morning (Nov 25) but did not show up.
According to Taiwanese media reports, she had applied for a leave of absence. But the prosecutors office in New Taipei District in Taiwan told reporters the request was declined as it did not follow the appropriate protocol. As such, Ting is now a wanted criminal.
News publication ETtoday tried contacting her on her mobile phone but to no avail and she did not reply to text messages either. Her whereabouts are currently unknown.
Ting’s troubles have been well-documented in the media. In 2015, she began selling luxury goods such as bags, accessories and clothing on e-commerce platforms and claimed they were authentic and purchased in Europe.
She had said she was urgently looking for buyers as she was moving.
Several people took the bait and bought her items, only to find out after authenticating them that the items were fake. Some did not receive items they had paid for.
Around 12 customers were duped by Ting and she scammed them out of around NT$170,000 (S$8,000).
She later said she knew nothing about the scams as her e-commerce accounts were run by a Singaporean friend called Natasha.
Her defence was not accepted by the Taiwanese court and she was sentenced to three years and six months in jail.
Upon appeal, Ting expressed remorse for her actions and asked for leniency from the court – which eventually handed down a 2½-year sentence.