Peya Travel claimants urged to pursue case

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Consul Paul Saret

THE Philippine Consulate General is urging the hundreds of Filipino domestic workers, who were stranded in Hong Kong last Christmas due to the ticketing mess involving Peya Travel, to help the police investigation into the case.

Consul Paul V. Saret, head of the PCG-Assistance to Nationals Section (ATN), said less than 200 of the 1,200 domestic workers who were stranded had answered the call of the Hong Kong Police for complainants to give sworn statements.

“Based on their investigation, one of the challenges is out of the 1,200, only around 100 plus or less than 200 have answered to give their statement,” Saret said in an interview with Hong Kong News.

“So, we are informing Peya claimants that you should be willing to go to the station to give your statement. They should cooperate with the police,” he added.

Saret said the HK Police would not be able to build up the case against Peya if the claimants did not cooperate with the investigation.

“Of course, we know that people are busy but if we really want the case to move forward, if the police call, then we should cooperate,” he added.

Saret met with police investigators handling the Peya case on March 27 and they said that the case would eventually be referred to the Hong Kong Department of Justice.

“The information they gave was very comprehensive and the bottom line is–it’s still under police investigation,” he said.

Saret said that the police confirmed that Peya marketing manager Arnold Grospe was no longer in Hong Kong.

“It’s confirmed that he’s no longer in Hong Kong,” Saret said.

On the other hand, he said the investigators informed the consulate that one of the owners of Peya who was taken into police custody was “no longer cooperating” with the investigation.

“They said that if this was purely bad business management, then they should be willing to cooperate,” Saret said.

“The police said they’re doing everything to determine if there was bad faith in these transactions because, as they said, at first glance it could have been a business gone wrong. But since somehow they are not cooperating and, at the sametime, one has escaped…,” he added.

Saret said consulate officers were willing to accompany Peya claimants to the Hong Kong police office in Wan Chai where the investigators are based.

“The police said that if there are more statements from complainants, then that would be better. If we want a criminal
case within the jurisdiction of Hong Kong, you should cooperate with the police,” he added.

Vice Consul Robert Quintin earlier told Hong Kong News that police had informed the consulate that Grospe was nowhere to be found in any of his listed addresses in Hong Kong.

“A day after Rhea Donna Boyce (Peya co-owner) was taken into police custody on Dec. 25, police also looked for Arnold Grospe but he was not in his listed addresses,” Quintin said.

Boyce and her husband Peter, the other owner of Peya, were taken into custody by the police for questioning on Dec. 25 and 27, respectively, following the complaints filed by Filipino domestic helpers who found out that, despite paying for their tickets, these were unconfirmed and they were unable to board their flights.

At least two Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong who were about to go home “for good” to the Philippines were among those who sought the help of the consulate The two domestic helpers told Hong Kong News that they were worried that they would not get a refund for their plane tickets.

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