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Filipino maid in online sex booking gets 10-month jail sentence

30 October 2019

Charges vs. Gallego's co-helper and their employer are pending in District Court 

A domestic worker has been sentenced in District Court to 10 months in jail after admitting that she conspired with another Filipina helper and their female employer to live on the earnings of prostitutes.

Jeanette V. Gallego, a 47-year-old mother of two, was sentenced by Judge David Dufton after taking her plea on Oct 29.

Gallego’s Legal Aid lawyer told her after the sentencing that she would serve her jail term for just one or two months more on good behavior and holidays, as she had already been held for eight months before she was granted bail in January.

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Her co-helper Jo-an Palpal-latoc, 44, and their employer Heidi Wong Pui-ting, 69, who allegedly owned the online sex booking business that earned $31.5 million over a period of nine years, will appear in District Court again on Nov 28.

Palpal-latoc’s counsel, Mohammed Shah, told the court on Sept 26 that his client would also plead guilty to the conspiracy charge but not to a money-laundering charge against her and Wong. Money earned from the operation was traced to two bank accounts they allegedly controlled.

Dufton accepted the defense lawyer’s assertion that Gallego played only a minor role in the illegal operation that Wong ran in flat on the plush Tavistock II residential tower on Tregunter Path. Wong hired Gallego as her maid on Dec 13, 2010.

For nine years, Gallego’s role was to answer calls and email messages from foreign clients, record their names and nationalities, contact the prostitutes and direct them to hotels where the clients stay.

For her role, she received $1,500 a month in addition to her normal salary as helper.

The prosecutor told Dufton that two Hong Kong police officers who posed as foreign clients separately contacted the dating website operated by Wong in April last year and booked sex services in separate hotels on certain dates.

On Apr 15, 2018, one officer was supplied a prostitute for $10,800 while another for $6,800, with both paying by credit cards.

Police raided Wong’s flat on May 5 last year and arrested Wong, Palpal-latoc and Gallego, as well as Wong's elder sister and a male relative.

The latter two were later released without charge while Wong was charged separately from the Filipinas.

Their cases were consolidated in February, and the money laundering charge was added against Wong and Palpal-latoc.
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