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Govt accountant report sought in Peya’s case

11 May 2019

By The SUN
Irate customers swarmed Peya's office in Central in Dec 2018 after failing to board their flights
Hong Kong HK Police say they are just waiting for the government accountant’s report on the Peya Travel ticketing fiasco before deciding on how to proceed with the case.

 “About Peya, we’re still waiting for the (government) accountant to furnish the accountant’s report as requested by the advising counsel,” a police investigator from the Regional Crime Unit said in an SMS message to Consul Paul Saret, who updated The SUN on the case on May 9.
The officer also said the police have wrapped up its investigation into the case, which blew up in December 2017 when hundreds of Peya customers heading home for their Christmas vacation failed to board their flights because the travel agency did not pay the airlines for their tickets.


Earlier, the police also completed its investigation into the alleged fraud committed by employment agency owner Ester Ylagan in which hundreds of Filipino jobseekers were duped into paying between $10,000 and $15,000 for non-existent jobs in Britain and Canada.
The case against Ylagan is now with the Department of Justice, which will determine whether a case should be filed against her for fraud.

“All remittance records have been collected and the duplicated files have been submitted to the Justice Department. The case is now with the Justice Department seeking for legal advice,” the officer said.
Saret said the remittance records pertain to where Ylagan had sent the estimated $4 million that she collected in January to May in 2016 from about 500 job applicants, using her two companies: Emry’s Service Staff and Employment Agency, and Mike’s Secretarial Services.

But Saret said Ylagan’s alleged fraud toward her applicants is separate from the conspiracy to defraud and money laundering cases against Ylagan and suspended barrister Ody Lai Pui-ying that appeared to have arisen from the job scam.


Ylagan, who was arrested on Jun 7 last year, a few months after returning to Hong Kong from the Philippines, is also facing several cases of overcharging the job applicants which were filed by the Labour Department.

Lai was arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport on Aug 30 last year as she returned also from the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Saret said the case against Peya should also move forward once the government accountant submits his report on the travel agency’s financial activities before the booking scandal forced it to shut down.
Police arrested Rhea Donna Boyce or “Yanyan”, co-owner of Peya Travel, on Christmas Day last year in her Wanchai flat on suspicion of conspiring to defraud the company’s stranded clients.

Her Australian husband and Peya co-owner Peter Boyce was arrested afterwards but was eventually cleared.

A co-accused, Peya’s sales and marketing manager Arnold Grospe, was arrested on Jun 6 last year.

Ylagan, Lai, Yanyan Boyce and Grospe  are all out on police bail.

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