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2 Pinoys ordered arrested for non-appearance in illegal gambling case

13 May 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The 2 Pinoys and their local co-defendant did not show up in Eastern court today

Arrest warrants were issued today, May 13, against three accused - two Filipinos and a Hong Kong citizen - for their failure to appear in Eastern court for the hearing of their illegal gambling case.

Four of their co-defendants, including two other Filipinos, pleaded guilty and were fined between $500 and $1,000 by Magistrate Bina Chainrai.

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The hearing was delayed until close to 1pm while the court waited for the appearance of So Ping-cheung, 50, a local and alleged operator of the gambling den; Rhea Nerissa Maristela, 24, waitress, and Calveen Castrillo, 37, a recognizance holder.

When the three did not show up, Chainrai proceeded with the hearing.

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A charge of gambling in a gambling establishment was read to each their four co-defendants: Hongkongers Ngai Kim-fung, 47, warehouseman and Cheung Chi-hung, 31, jobless; and Filipinos RJ Raqueño, 31, bartender; and Cecilia Tejam, 51, waitress. 

All seven defendants were arrested on Mar 12 during a police raid on a flat on the second floor of Sze Lai Building at 241-243 Hennessy Road, Wanchai.

The building in Wanchai where the illegal gamling took place

The prosecution said plainclothes officers from a special duty squad of the Wanchai Police District mounted the operation at the residential unit at 3:50pm.

The officers forced their way into the flat when those inside would not open the gate despite verbal warnings, the prosecutor said.

The raiders found Ngai, Cheung, Raqueño and Tejam inside the flat playing a fish-hitting or plane-shooting game, where game points were added or deducted from game cards. Points accumulated could be redeemed for cash.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

After the four pleaded guilty, Ngai, Cheung and Tejam were fined $500 each. Raqueño, who had previous convictions including gambling, was fined $1,000.  

After sentencing, Chainrai signed the arrest warrants for Maristela, Castrillo and So.

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