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Judge gets impatient on 2 Pinays’ online pimping case

04 January 2019

The illicit operation was said to have been run from
a luxury flat in Tregunter Path, Mid-Levels

By Vir B. Lumicao

For the second time, an Eastern Court magistrate has expressed displeasure at the delay in prosecuting the case against two Filipina domestic workers allegedly involved in an online pimping service operated by their employer.

Magistrate Peter Law made his comment as the prosecution said an investigation into the bank accounts of the company owned by the Filipinas’ employers showed it had made as much as $20 million from the illicit operation.

The prosecution asked for an adjournment for two more months but Law denied the request. He set the next hearing to Monday, Jan. 7, and remanded the two Filipinas in custody.

Law reminded the prosecution that defendants Jo-an Palpal-latoc and Jeanette Gallego had already spent eight months in detention with their case still stuck in court. Last August, he also chided the prosecution for the lack of movement in the case.

Palpal-latoc, 40, and Gallego, 47, both face a charge of living on the earnings of prostitution of others.

They were arrested for allegedly manning a number of dating websites offering sex to foreign tourists run by the company owned by their 69-year-old employer identified only as Ms. Wong, from her luxury flat in Tregunter Path, Mid-Levels.

Wong, her 72-year-old sister, and a male person were also arrested but were released on police bail while a separate investigation of their illicit business was under way.

The judge reiterated his concern over the Filipinas’ extended detention after the prosecution requested that the case be adjourned for two more months for further enquiry and legal advice.

The prosecutor said that since the previous hearing on Sept 7, investigators had looked for bank accounts of the two defendants, but found just one belonging to Papal-latoc. Gallego has no bank account.

Previously, she said the prosecution was planning to file an additional charge of money laundering against the two Filipinas for allegedly getting a tiny percentage of the money paid by foreign clients for the pimping services by Wong’s company.

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