Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Times

Five Filipino maids in Hong Kong lost a total of HK$312,000 (US$39,750) to a con man who promised to get them work visas through a tech company he said he was setting up.

The five women filed statements to the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong on July 15, with at least one making a separate complaint at the Central Police station, the sunwebhk.com reported.

The alleged scam started on February 18 this year, when one of the women met an Egyptian man, who called himself John, in a park in Hong Kong. However, the name in the man’s passport was Ghonam Aly Elsayed Aly Ibrahim.

The man said he was on a tourist visa and was looking for a job in Hong Kong, but had no money. He allegedly told the woman he could set up an IT company from home but he needed a computer and iPad.

The Filipino he met in the park borrowed $30,000 from a finance company so the man could buy what he needed for his business and also pay a recruitment agency to help him find a job. The two then became a couple.

But soon “John” forced the woman to borrow more to pay for his daily meals and accommodation. In the end, she said she borrowed HK$110,000. The man then asked her to look for others who could fund his business.

Others, including a single mother of three, were lured by the promise of transitioning from being a maid to working at the man’s IT company. The single mother lost HK$80,000. Another woman lost H$63,000.

Two friends also allegedly ended up owing HK$52,000 and HK$7,000. At the end of June “John” left for Macau as his three-month visitor visa had expired. Debt collectors from finance companies and individuals the women borrowed money from started calling them to demand payment.

At least three of the women had their contracts terminated and soon headed home.

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