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Owner of rogue recruiter WHT set to be charged in court

16 November 2019


By The SUN
Ebrahim allegedly offered fake jobs in exchange for thousands of dollars in placement fees 
The owner of an unlicensed recruitment agency who is accused by dozens of Filipino migrant workers of making them pay thousands of dollars for non-existent jobs in Hong Kong and Macau is set to appear in court on Jan. 31 to face a charge of unfair trade practices.

The name of Lennis Embrahim, owner of WHT Consultant Company, appeared in the Judiciary’s schedule of hearings published earlier today, Nov. 15.

A Filipina domestic worker who the complainants say used to work for Ebrahim appeared in Eastern Court today to face the same charge.

Mary Jane Biscocho, 42, faced two counts of applying a false trade description to a service offered to consumers in connection with the alleged illegal recruitment operation led by Ebrahim.

The charges were read to Biscocho before Magistrate Ivy Chui. No plea was taken and Biscocho was  remanded in custody.

Chui told Biscocho to engage the services of a lawyer from the Duty Lawyer Service who could help her apply for bail in the Court of First Instance and represent her in the next hearing.

A report from Customs Department released on Nov.7 said two women were arrested on suspicion of having applied false trade descriptions to employment agency services supplied, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.

The report did not identify the two women, but the alleged victims told The SUN they were Biscocho and another Filipina staff of Ebrahim named Nympha Lumatac.

It turned out Ebrahim herself was also arrested in the Customs operation.

Ebrahim used to own the employment agency, Vicks Maid Consultant Co., which lost its license in July 2015 for overcharging job seekers and operating in a different address.

Vicks Maid also faced numerous complaints from Filipinas who claimed to have paid as much as $40,000 for non-existent jobs offered to their relatives in a fancy golf course in Shenzhen.

In the latest case, the three reportedly used WHT to entice about 50 Filipinas into paying between $7,000 to $12,000 for such jobs as drivers and gardeners in Hong Kong and Macau.

After being made to wait a long time for their family members to be deployed to their work places as promised, the complainants learned that the jobs they paid for did not exist.

The complainants have also sought help from both the police and the Hong Kong Labour Department’s Employment Agency Administration, which are still conducting investigations.

Nancy (not her real name), one of their alleged victims, said that in her recent chat with Ebrahim, the latter promised to refund her $16,000 down payment this month.

“Last po na naka-chat ko si Lennis, sabi niya ire-refund niya yung perang nai-down ko sa kanya this mid-November. Hanggang ngayon wala pa rin at di ko na siya makontak. Buti naman po sana mahuli na si Lenis,” Nancy said.

A friend of Nancy claimed she was asked by Biscocho and Lumatac to pay a total of $16,000 as down payment for jobs as a waiter for her husband, a helper for her sister, and a factory worker for her brother.

In its press release, the Customs Department reminded traders to comply with requirements of the Trade Description Ordinance and consumers to procure services at reputable shops.

Any trader who applies a false trade description to a service supplied to a consumer commits an offense punishable with a maximum fine of $500,000 and five years in jail.

Customs urged the public to report any suspected TDO violations to its 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk). – with a report by Vir B. Lumicao


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