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Filipina tagged as core member of money laundering scam charged in court

03 August 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The Filipina resident was charged with 4 counts of money laundering

Filipina resident Charity Alonzo Marquez was charged with four counts of money laundering at Kowloon City court today, Aug 3, but she was said to be too ill to attend the hearing and respond to the charges.

The prosecution said Marquez was taken to hospital yesterday for breathing difficulty.

The magistrate moved the date of her court appearance to Aug 6.


Police said earlier that they had filed a holding charge on the 38-year-old Philippine passport holder yesterday to keep her in custody while they conducted further investigation into the case.

Marquez has been described by the police as a core member of a syndicate that offered money to 24 foreign domestic helpers to entice them to give up their ATM cards, which were then used to launder over $27 million obtained from romance scams.

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She was arrested along with another Filipina and three Nigerian men, including the alleged ringleader, in police raids across the city on Jul 26 and 27.

Also arrested were 23 Filipina and one Indonesian domestic helper who gave their ATM cards and passwords to the syndicate, who used them to “wash” money earned from romance and telephone scam victims over a 10-month period.

Screen shot of money-laundering transactions made through a FDH's bank account

Meanwhile, about a dozen more Filipina DHs who yielded control over their bank accounts to the money-laundering syndicate, are reportedly seeking help from the Consulate and an NGO about their trouble.


This was gathered from an FDH support group which was originally approached by four of the workers for help after hearing about the arrests last week. The group told the workers to go straight to the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section to get help.

The workers, who fear they may also be arrested, reportedly submitted statements to ATN on how they were enticed to hand over their ATM cards in exchange for cash.


Another Filipina was reported to have gone to Central Police yesterday to admit giving up her ATM card in the cash-for-card scam.

Another female worker who was arrested by police in her employer’s house last week but has since been released, reportedly sought help from the Mission for Migrant Workers, fearing she could get into deeper trouble because she claimed to have lost her ATM card.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

The multiple arrests were the second in just over a month as the police cracked down on romance and money laundering scams, which increased in the first half of this year.

On the third week of June, police smashed a similar syndicate and arrested eight Filipina helpers for suspected money laundering. Also nabbed were four Nigerian men, a Filipina resident, a Nepali man and a local woman.



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