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Filipina alleged to be part of ATM money laundering scam identified

01 February 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao

The HSBC branch in Tuen Mun where the complainants opened their accounts 

 A Filipina domestic helper who allegedly collected the ATM cards of unwitting fellow workers that were later used in money laundering has been identified by some of her recruits, and is said to be still working in Hong Kong.

The full identity of the alleged scammer, who initially went by the name Gemmalyn, is already known to the Consulate. She is described by one of her recruits as the money launderers’ link to workers whom she allegedly urged to open bank accounts, saying that was where their “part-time income” would be paid.

Asked what the Consulate intended to do with the information, Consul General Raly Tejada said, “We are already coordinating with the police.”

On Sunday, two workers who said their accounts had been used to move huge amounts of cash went to the Consulate to seek advice and report how they got into the mess.

C.S. and R.I. told Consul Paulo Saret that they were promised access to loans and make a lot of money offering gadgets online. But they would first have to hand over their ATM cards to the contact woman.

When Saret asked them if they knew who the alleged conduit was, R.I. said she knew her because the woman took both her and C.S.’ ATM cards.

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“Is she this woman?” Saret asked, showing a Facebook profile picture of a woman that an informant provided the Consulate.

At first, R.I. said that was not the contact woman. But after a closer scrutiny and a little tinkering with the woman’s Facebook profile, it revealed the original photo of the contact woman that had been provided to the Consulate.

Her identity was first revealed by two other duped workers, one of whom was arrested by police two weeks ago. It turned out she started using various accounts and different names after blocking all the workers who were chasing her for their ATM cards.


C.S. said she opened a bank account at Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp in Tuen Mun in July 2020 and gave her card to R.I., a friend she met two years ago.

C.S. said it was R.I. who suggested she join her part-time work because she was in dire need of cash to settle bank loans incurred by friends. R.I. claimed she handed the ATM card to the syndicate’s contact woman.

C.S. said that shortly later, she received a message from HSBC informing her of a cash deposit of more than $100,000 in her account.


Both helpers said they panicked after police began arresting two weeks ago some OFWs who had applied for similar jobs via the contact woman in an anti-money laundering probe, so they decided to come forward. They said they’d also report to the police.

Saret praised them for taking the initiative to report instead of waiting the police to arrest them. He advised them to tell what really happened, as that could help lessen their fault.

The two helpers went next to the nearby Wanchai Police Station in the afternoon to report the suspicious activity in their accounts.

C.S., the first to be called by the complaint officer, gave the police a prepared statement of what happened. She said it was R.I who suggested to her to join the part-time job by handing her ATM card and telling her she could also take a loan. 

When R.I. was asked why she took C.S.’ card and to whom did she give it, she said she gave it to the contact woman, who also told her what to do.

Asked how much they were paid for joining the job, C.S. said she was paid $900 through R.I. The latter, on the other hand, said she got $500 as initial pay, and $4,000 afterwards.

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After taking down notes, the officer who interviewed the two women told them to go to the bank branch and explain their part. He took their addresses and phone numbers and told them to just wait until police call them after the bank makes a report.

Only C.S. was able to do that this morning. She went to the HSBC branch in Tuen Mun where she opened her account.

AC's bank account shows $194k being deposited, then taken out on same day

A bank officer who interviewed C.S. told her the account, which she opened in July last year, had already been frozen.

After reviewing the account transactions, the bank officer also told the Filipina to instruct the bank’s customer service to close the account’s online banking facility.

An account statement issued by the bank at the request of C.S. showed an initial deposit of $100 that R.I. made into it on Oct 26, 2020. C.S. said R.I. told her she needed that as maintaining balance.

Then on Oct 31, a cash deposit of $194,300 was made into the account, but it was all taken out on the same day. Four withdrawals of $20,000 each was made from the account, and the rest was transferred to three different accounts.

As of today, Feb 1, only the initial deposit of $

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100 remained in C.S.’ account.









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