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DH arrested for money laundering after giving up ATM for $5k

25 June 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Money launderers use ATM cards to withdraw scam money from accounts held by FDHs

Another Filipina domestic helper who surrendered her ATM card and bank account to a “friend” in exchange for $5,000 has landed in double trouble after $550,000 of scam money was traced to her account. After she was arrested, she lost her job.

Police arrested the worker, aged 43, on Jun 9 after a 72-year-old local woman complained that she lost that amount from September to November last year in a telephone scam. The suspect was booked for “obtaining property by deception.”


An investigation was started by the Wong Tai Sin District Crime Squad last November after the victim reported, the police said. Investigators followed the paper trail to the helper’s savings account in Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.

The helper, who reported her arrest to friends, said the case stemmed from her giving her ATM card to a Filipina friend in exchange for $5,000. She claimed she did not know that some people would use it to commit a crime.

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As a result of the case, her employer of 10 years decided not to renew the helper’s contract, her friends said.

The arrested helper was released on police bail after being detained for questioning for two days and was ordered to report to the police in early July. Investigation is ongoing.


The suspect told her friends that she was arrested on Jun 9 by police who knocked on her employer’s door as she was preparing to take her ward to the school bus stop.

The police told the employer that they traced $100,000 divested from another female victim to the helper’s HSBC account. The officers then took the helper away in handcuffs, and brought her to the Wong Tai Sin station.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The Hong Kong Police Anti-Deception Coordination Centre said that in March this year, telephone scam cases rose minimally to 78 from 76 a year earlier, but the money that victims lost jumped more than 10 times to $266.32 million from $22.5 million.

Several other Filipinas are now being investigated by police for their alleged links to other fraud cases, including “romance scams”.


Last week, police arrested eight Filipina helpers, four Nigerian men, a local woman and a Nepali man in connection with a syndicate that laundered $12 million derived from at least 30 online romance scams.

The police said the Filipinas had been manipulated to open bank accounts to which the scam victims were told to deposit money to pay for customs and delivery fees for purported expensive gift packages sent by their online lovers.



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