The Eastern Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday that investigators have identified three new suspects during examination of accounting ledgers and credit cards that police officers had seized in a luxury apartment in Mid-Levels in May, the sunwebhk.com reported. The police operation reportedly broke up an online sex ring.
The prosecutor did not say whether new arrests had been made.
The revelation came at the hearing of the case of two Filipina domestic helpers, Joan E. Palpal-latoc, 40 and Jeanette V. Gallego, 47 who were arrested on May 15 for allegedly operating a number of dating websites that offered sex to foreign tourists.
The prosecution had said previously that the two Filipinas admitted their roles in the online sex business during video-recorded police interviews. However, their defense lawyer says he will challenge those interviews as they were held in the absence of counsel.
No bail was sought for Palpal-latoc and Gallego on Friday, who have been remanded in custody since the arrest.
After their arrest on May 15, the two defendants applied to post bail of $10,000 each, and later increased their offer to $25,000 each, but the prosecution opposed the applications, citing their lack of local ties and the risk of them destroying evidence and absconding.
During the raid in May, police also arrested their female employer, a 60-year-old local woman surnamed Wong, along with Wong’s 72-year-old sister and another man. The arrests took place in an apartment in a luxury residential tower on Tregunter Path, which police say operated as a call center for the alleged vice ring.
The service allegedly targeted foreign visitors to Hong Kong using a website that carried pictures of women who could provide high-quality escort services costing HK$6,000 to HK$7,000 (US$764 to $891) per hour.