Man seeks $400k refund after couple breaks up

Widower Chan Kok Sang is seeking a refund for gifts he bought his girlfriend during their three year courtship.

The couple was in a relationship from 2007 to last year. During this time, Mr Chan bought gifts for Ms Caroline Tong, a real estate agent, amounting to about $400,000 as he believed they were to get married.

The gifts included swatches, bags, branded accessories and about $90,000 worth of jewellery.

The couple also reportedly got involved in joint investment ventures including a $1.24 million condominium unit in Keppel Bay.

Mr Chan, who is in his sixties, claims he also gave Ms Tong, who is also a professional singer according to her Facebook page, $79,000 to help launch two VCDs of her songs in Hokkien and Mandarin.

The Straits Times reported that Mr Chan considers the gifts as friendly loans which have to be repaid.

Ms Tong, who is in her forties, disputes this and says the gifts were unconditional presents given during their relationship.

Mr Chan says Ms Tong had breached the promise to marry him even though custom-made wedding rings were ordered as she had allegedly asked for.

As her Facebook page indicates, Ms Tong graduated with a master's in international business from the University of Technology in Sydney.

Items in question amounting to $397,182.42:

  • Property purchase deposits: $74,095.56
  • Cost of producing her VCDs: $79,200
  • Dental charges: $3,000
  • Money transfers: $11,638.35
  • Loan for purchase of Mercedes: $21,324.67
  • Beds and cupboards: $8,367.40
  • Watches: $34,003.70
  • Spa treatments: $4,911.80
  • Notebook, iPad and similar items: $6,686