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Police probe of money laundering case vs Ylagan, Lai almost done, says Labatt

08 December 2018

By The SUN

Hong Kong police are close to wrapping up their investigation into the money laundering case filed against former employment agency owner Ester P. Ylagan and suspended barrister Ody Lai Puy-yim relating to a massive job scam two years ago.

Labor Attaché Jalilo dela Torre disclosed this in an interview with The SUN on Nov 28.

 Ester P. Ylagan and suspended barrister Ody Lai Puy-yim during happier times.

“Malapit na nilang matapos yung money laundering investigation. Kailangan lang nila ang proof na na-receive yung remittances by all those fictitious-sounding people sa iba’t ibang countries,” Labatt Dela Torre said.

He said he was updated on the progress of the investigation during a meeting with the head of the Regional Crime Unit of Hong Kong Island on Nov 23. The meeting was also attended by Consul Paulo Saret, head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section.



After the investigation, the police are expected to forward the case to the Justice Department which will determine whether the case should be filed in court.

Ylagan, owner of the now defunct Mike’s Secretarial Services, was arrested on June 7 in Western District for “conspiracy to defraud” and “dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence (also known as money laundering).”



Lai, her one-time friend and alleged adviser, was arrested on Aug 30 at the Hong Kong International Airport on her arrival from the Philippines. She is also being investigated for the same allegations.

Ylagan and Lai have been released on police bail but were required by investigators to report back on a regular basis.



The cases stemmed from complaints filed by 210 Filipinos, mostly migrant workers, alleging they had been deceived by Ylagan into paying between $10,000 and $15,000 for fake jobs in Britain and Canada.

The total number of Filipino job applicants allegedly lured into applying for the non-existent jobs were estimated to have been more, with the total amount involved reaching as much as $5million. The victims came from Hong Kong, Macau and the Philippines.



Lawyers for the complainants subsequently reported uncovering documents showing Ylagan and several other people close to her had sent a total of around $10 million to several countries as far apart as Malaysia and Burkina Faso.

The documents were turned over to the police, along with the names of the others involved in the apparent money laundering scam.



With help from the Mission for Migrant Workers, the complainants succeeded in getting legal aid to pursue their claims.

Ylagan slipped out of Hong Kong in mid-July 2016 in an apparent bid to head off a possible arrest. Before she fled, she filed a complaint with the Central Police station against a London-based business partner who reportedly duped her of $4.19 million.



She said the partner, a certain “William Clinton James,” had made her send the money to unknown people in Burkina Faso on the promise that he had jobs waiting for her recruits. In return, she was promised a British passport, 15 plane tickets to London, and a chance to explore business opportunities in the United Kingdom.


















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