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Elusive recruiter finally appears in court, faces new charges with Filipina staff

21 May 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao
Ebrahim appeared in Kwun Tong court for the first time to face charges of wrongfully accepting payment for product

An elusive owner of a recruitment company finally appeared in Kwun Tong Court today, May 21, together with her Filipina staff, on charges illegally taking money from job applicants, after being absent in previous hearings for alleged medical problems.

Lennis Ebrahim, 55, wearing blue jeans and a jacket as well as a surgical mask, stooped and walked weakly with the help of a male escort to stand behind the back row of the counsel’s tables.

Her co-defendant, Marijane Biscocho, 42, who has been in custody since her arrest on Nov 7 last year, stood in the dock.  
The appearance of Ebrahim before Magistrate Ivy Chui coincided with the addition of three counts of “engaging in a commercial practice that constitutes wrongly accepting payment for a product” against her and Biscocho.

In the last hearing on Apr 23, 17 counts of the same charge were filed against Biscocho, and one against Ebrahim.

“I notice that the second defendant is in court today,” the magistrate said upon seeing the defendant who had skipped her past hearings allegedly due to illness.

Ebrahim’s counsel replied that his client was feeling unwell. Early on, he said his client had heart problems and presented a medical certificate.

The alleged victims in the earlier cases had accused Ebrahim, Biscocho, and another Filipina, Nympha Lumatac, of collecting around $180,000 from them for high-paying jobs in Hong Kong and Macau that turned out to be non-existent.

Lumatac slipped out of Hong Kong and went home via Macau before the Customs & Excise Department took over the case and arrested Biscocho and Ebrahim last November.
In one of the new charges filed against Biscocho and Ebrahim today, the prosecution said the two allegedly offered and accepted payment from a Filipino applicant last year, for a job as a printer.

The two defendants allegedly promised the unnamed man the job for a certain amount, but after he paid them, they kept him waiting for five months but did not deliver on their promise.

The prosecution said the three new counts brought to 20 the number of charges now faced by both Biscocho and Ebrahim but did not read out details of the two other counts.

Magistrate Chui adjourned the case until Jun 18 as the prosecutor said the Customs team needed more time to complete their investigation and prepare for the case.

Biscocho was remanded in custody and had no bail application, her lawyer said.

The magistrate extended Ebrahim’s bail and told her stay in her given address, not to leave Hong Kong and report to the police.

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