Peya Travel manager and Emry’s owner arrested

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Philippine Consulate General in Admiralty

The Hong Kong Police have arrested two prominent members of the Filipino community who were linked to fraud cases, an official of the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) said.

Consul Paul Saret, head of the PCG Assistance to Nationals (ATN) section, said the Hong Kong Police confirmed on Thursday that they had arrested Peya Travel marketing manager Arnold Grospe and Emry’s Employment Agency owner Ester Ylagan.

“(Ylagan) was arrested yesterday (June 7) while Grospe was nabbed the night before,” Saret said in an interview.

He said both were being detained by the police for investigation. Grospe faces the charge of conspiracy to defraud while Ylagan faces conspiracy to defraud and money laundering charges, Saret quoted the police as saying.

He said the consulate was trying to find out where Grospe was arrested after investigators told the PCG in late March that he had left Hong Kong.

Saret said the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila cancelled Grospe’s passport while the Hong Kong Police  sought the help of Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) to track down his whereabouts.

Peya Travel is under investigation for the ticketing mess in December that left hundreds of Filipino domestic workers stranded at the airport during Christmas.

Emry’s Employment Agency used to be the biggest provider of Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong but it closed down after Ylagan was accused of offfering bogus jobs in the United Kingdom and Canada.  Ylagan said her business partner duped her.

Asked about Grospe and Ylagan’s arrests, a spokesperson of the Hong Kong Police said they arrested a “foreign man” in Central on Wednesday night.

“A 49-year-old foreign man was arrested for conspiracy to defraud on Connaught Road in Central on the night of June 6. The arrested 49-year-old foreign man was released on Police bail and is requested to report back to the Police in early July 2018,” the spokesperson said.

The Hong Kong Police had been looking for Grospe since December, when they checked his listed addresses in the city but could not find him.

Peya owners Rhea Donna Boyce and her husband Peter were taken into custody by the police in December but they were later released on police bail.

When asked about Ylagan, the spokesperson said the police received reports from 210 complainants since 2016 who alleged that they were “deceived by an employment agency incurring loss ranging from HK$5,000 to HK$20,000 each.”

“Upon further investigation by the Regional Crime Unit of Hong Kong Island, a 65-year-old foreign woman was arrested for ‘conspiracy to defraud’ and ‘dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence’ (also known as money laundering) in Western District yesterday (June 7),” the spokesperson said.

“The woman is still being detained for enquiry,” she added.

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