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Employer, maid to be tried in DC for living off prostitution, money laundering

06 July 2019

The District Court is in Wanchai Tower

An elderly Hong Kong woman and her Filipina maid will stand trial in District Court later this year on charges of conspiring to live on the earnings of prostitutes and money laundering.

Heidi Wong Pui-ting, 69, and her domestic helper Jo-an Palpal-latoc, 44.
appeared before Judge W.K. Kwok on Jul 2 after their cases were consolidated and moved up from Eastern Court.
Wong’s other Filipina maid, Jeanette Gallego, 47, was supposed to enter her guilty plea on the pimping charge, but that was postponed until Aug 22.

All three are out on police bail.

Wong, the alleged mastermind of an online prostitution ring based in her luxury flat on Tregunter Path, Mid-Levels, is charged, along with Palpal-latoc, with laundering $14.85 million allegedly earned from the sex booking services.

Palpa-latok and Gallego were reportedly caught operating from Wong's flat several dating websites offering sex for a fee, and taking orders from prospective foreign clients.
Wong, her 72-year-old sister, a male relative and the two Filipinas were arrested in a police raid on May 17 last year in the employer’s flat on the 43rd floor of Tavistock II residential block on Tregunter Path, Mid-Levels.

In applying to consolidate the cases, the prosecution said both arose from the same illicit operation that was busted by police in May 2018.

The prosecution charged that between Jan 1, 2010 and May 15, 2018, Wong and Palpal-latoc had kept money suspected to have been earned from operating the online prostitution ring in Wong’s HSBC account.

Wong’s syndicate allegedly offered women to foreign clients for as high as US$7,000 per hour.

The lawyer representing Palpal-latoc applied for an adjournment until Aug 22 to give him time to study the documents and seek legal advice for the maid.

The prosecution did not opposed the adjournment, but voiced concerned that the three defendants had not yet surrendered their travel documents to the court despite being out on bail.

Judge Kwok extended the defendants’ bail but ordered them to surrender their travel documents within the day. – Vir B. Lumicao


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