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More complaints filed vs rogue recruiter

04 September 2019

By The SUN

OFWs were allegedly charged between $7k and $12 for fake jobs in Hong Kong and Macau

The owner of an employment agency convicted in 2015 of collecting excessive fees from a job-seeker and operating at a place not specified in its license is facing a new complaint. This time, it’s from at least two Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong who claim to have paid the recruiter thousands of dollars for fictitious jobs for relatives.

Nancy (not her real name) told The SUN that she and a friend have filed complaints against Lennis Ebrahim, owner of the now-defunct Vicks Maid Consultant Co., for offering to place their relatives for nonexistent jobs as drivers, gardeners and other positions in Hong Kong for between $7,000 and $12,000 each. .
Ebrahim, recruiting through WHT Consultant Company, reportedly moved out of her office in Kwun Tong when it became clear that the jobs she was offering did not exist, and her applicants began chasing her for their money.

Nancy said Ebrahim employed two Filipinas who she identified as M. J.  Biscocho and N. Lumatac, who also allegedly helped entice them to pay for the fake placements. 

Nancy said she and her friend filed a complaint with the Employment Agency Administration on Jul 12. They also reported the case to the Mong Kok police, and showed their signed statements.
Nancy’s friend claimed she was asked by WHT staff Biscocho and Lumatac to pay a total of $16,000 as down payment for a waiter job for her husband, a helper job for her sister, and a factory worker position for her brother.

“As long as mag-down ka, i-forward na agad sa Pilipinas ang kontrata,” the staff allegedly promised them. 

WHT allegedly charged a processing fee of $16,000 for a driver's post, $12,000 each for the waiter and factory worker jobs,  and $7,000 for domestic worker. The balance would have to be paid when the visa was issued, the worker said.
Nancy’s friend claims she made down payments of $6,000 on Oct 1 last year for her husband, $4,000 on Nov 11 for her sister and $6,000 on Nov 18 for her brother. She was given a receipt for each payment that she made.

Nancy said she was introduced by her friend to WHT on Jan 1 this year after she told her she was looking for a gardener’s job for her husband. She paid $6,000 as down payment. 

The friend came to know about WHT in its post in a helpers’ page on Facebook. She said that as far as she knew, around 20 applicants paid either $12,000 or $16,000 for the prime jobs offered.

She said that initially Ebrahim only offered jobs in Hong Kong, but eventually she also advertised posts in Macau.

Nancy said Ebrahim and her staff talked very convincingly that one of the victims was enticed to convince her husband to quit his work in Brunei and come to Hong Kong. 

He was allegedly asked to pay $2,000 as down payment but it turned out there was no job.

When the  workers started asking for their money back, they were allegedly blocked on Facebook and their calls were rejected. They then learned the agency had moved to a room in a textile warehouse in To Kwa Wan.

Nancy said she and some victims accompanied by police went to check the address in To Kwa Wan one recent Sunday but no one was answering the bell. But shortly after they left, they got a text message from one of the Filipina staff who taunted them with: “O, nagpunta pa kayo rito, anong napala nyo?”

The license of Ebrahim’s Vicks Maid Consultant Company was cancelled by EAA on Jul 27, 2015 following its conviction for overcharging and operating in a different address.

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