Two Filipino women who were arrested during a police raid of an online sex ring in Hong Kong in May have decided to plead guilty to charges of living off the avails of prostitution.
The Eastern Magistrates’ Court was informed of their decision on August 10. Magistrate Peter Law said a parallel investigation was still being conducted in connection with the case, but did not elaborate, sunwebhk.com reported.
Joan Palpal-latoc, 40, and Jeanette Gallego, 47, who have been detained since their arrest, chose not to follow up on their application for bail, even after prosecutors lifted their opposition to their bid at the hearing.
Law ordered the pair back to jail, and instructed them to return on September 7 for the next hearing.
Prosecutors in earlier hearings opposed the women’s bail applications citing their lack of local ties and arguing that they were a flight risk. However, they later decided to drop their opposition when the judge asked why the defendants were still being held while their case had been stuck in the court for three months.
The two women were each charged with one count of living on the earnings of prostitution of others.
They were arrested in May at a sex-ring call center set up in an upscale apartment in Mid-Levels on Hong Kong Island.
The online prostitution ring was allegedly run by their female employer, a Hongkonger in her 60s, along with her older sister and a man in an apartment on the 43rd floor of Tavistock II, a residential tower on Tregunter Path.
The three Hongkongers have also decided to plead guilty to the charges against them.