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Filipina helper on trial for $83k deposits in her bank account

04 May 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The case is being heard in Kwun Tong court

A Filipina domestic helper is facing trial in Kwun Tong Court for alleged money laundering in connection with the transfer of nearly $83,000 into her Hang Seng Bank account more than five years ago.

The two-day trial of Evangelina G. Solano was originally set to begin today, May 4, but Magistrate Joseph To adjourned the case until Jun 2 as a key prosecution witness was still out of town and the transcript of the police interview with Solano was not ready.

Solano, who is out on bail and still lives with her employer, was ordered to return to court that day.


The Filipina was arrested Jan 1, 2016 at Hong Kong International Airport on suspicion of obtaining property by deception. But the charge was later amended to dealing with property known or believed to be proceeds from a crime.

After the procedural discussions, Solano’s counsel presented in court the defense witness, Ip Yue-ming, the elderly employer of Solano since 2006. The defense said Solano was hired to care for Ip and his wife, also an elderly.

To asked Ip, a retired high school teacher, if Solano was honest and responsible and he said yes. When asked if she understood the charge against his maid, Ip again said yes.
But he replied “It’s hard to state” when asked whether he thought the maid had broken the law.

Afterwards, the prosecution played back a video recorded interview of Solano, which the defense said it would challenge as it was taken in the absence of a lawyer for the maid.

But in the video recording, Solano was asked by an investigator from the Airport Police Division if she agreed to be interviewed without a lawyer and the defendant answered yes.

When the female officer told her she was investigating her in relation to a case of obtaining property by deception that took place between Dec 14, 2014 and Jan 2, 2015, the defendant blurted out, “No! Hindi ko nagawa iyan.”

Solano replied each time the officer asked her about the case, prompting the investigator to tell her not to say anything unless she was told to reply. She was also cautioned that anything she said could be used as evidence against her.

The defendant was asked if she had a Hang Seng Bank account and she said yes, adding that it was an ATM account without a passbook being issued. She said she opened it in mid-2015.

She admitted lending it to a Filipina friend named Nora whose surname she could not remember. Nore reportedly borrowed her ATM account to receive a $10,000 cash transfer her American boyfriend who was in Malaysia.

Afterwards, Nora reportedly needed money to pay for something, so, being her friend, Solano agreed to lend her ATM card and personal identification number.

Solano said she did not know that Nora used her account to receive $40,000 and $42,900 successively from her boyfriend on Dec 22, 2014.

She only saw the amounts when Nora asked her to go with her to the Kowloon City branch of Hang Seng so she could sign a withdrawal slip because it was a big amount.

Solano said Nora went home for good in September 2015 and the last time she heard from her was through a New Year greeting online.

When asked why there was a $20,000 deposited in her account apart from the amounts sent to Nora, Solano said it was money that she had saved from her salary. She said that account had been closed by Hang Seng since then.

The case continues.

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