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District Court to consult Ylagan’s victims July 7

22 June 2017

The District Court will consult next month about 120 job seekers who are seeking to recover tens of thousands of dollars they paid to employment agency owner Ester P. Ylagan  for non-existent jobs in Britain and Canada.

The claimants have been sent letters by the District Court registrar requiring them to attend court on July 7 “for the purpose of considering what directions should be given as to the future conduct of the proceedings”.

The preliminary consultation is scheduled for 9:30am in court 44 on the 12th floor of the Wanchai Law Courts on Gloucester Road.

Another batch of 79 claims are scheduled to be heard by the Small Claims Tribunal in Kowloon on July 3.

Meanwhile, the Mission for Migrant Workers says more victims of the apparent scam are seeking its help in pursuing claims against Ylagan.

The Mission, through its case officer Edwina Antonio Santoyo, has been designated by the Tribunal as the sole representative of claimants in the case.

More than 200 Filipinos, mostly domestic workers based in Hong Kong. have so far filed claims against Ylagan and her solely owned business, Mike’s Secretarial Services.

Some of the claimants are, however, based in the Philippines or Macau, who heard about Ylagan’s job offer from relatives or friends.

They alleged that Ylagan held orientations in Mike’s offices at World-Wide House in Central where she promised them jobs in Britain or Canada.

Those who applied to go to Canada were charged $15,000 each, while those who opted for Britain paid $10,000 each.

Up to 500 Filipinos are believed to have paid for the fake jobs.

Most of the applicants told the court they had to borrow money to pay Ylagan.

The tribunal moved the claims to the District Court at the request of Ylagan, despite her failure to attend court since the hearings started in August last year.

A former staff, who identified herself as Miss Leung, told the Tribunal Ylagan was in the Philippines and was too ill to attend hearings.

Leung also submitted a letter from a Hong Kong solicitors’ office confirming it had been engaged by Ylagan to represent her in the District Court.

Earlier, at least  18 claimants won their cases at the Tribunal through default judgments against Ylagan. However, they cannot apply for an enforcement of the awards because Ylagan’s last known address in Hong Kong is a mere virtual office in Kwun Tong.

Dozens of claimants have sought help from the police on at least three occasions, but their complaint has yet to be investigated.

However, Ylagan’s complaint that she had been fleeced of $2.4 million by an unknown business associate in Britain was duly recorded at the Central police station.

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