A Hong Kong woman and her Filipina domestic workers facing charges over an online vice ring may now face a separate case of money laundering.
The District Court in Hong Kong adjourned a hearing on Thursday after the prosecution requested a separate case of money laundering against the two.
Heidi Wong Pui-ting, a 69-year-old Hong Kong woman who was allegedly behind an online vice ring based in her luxury Mid-Levels flat, appeared at the court for the first time with her two Filipina domestic workers, who were alleged to be her accomplices, sunwebhk.com reported.
Wong was charged with conspiracy to live on the earnings of prostitution of others, while the two Filipina domestic workers, Jo-an Palpal-latoc, 40, and Jeanette Gallego, 47, were allegedly operating a number of dating websites that offered sex to foreign tourists.
Police made the arrests in May, 2018, in an apartment in a luxury residential tower on Tregunter Path in Mid-Levels, which police said operated as a vice ring call center targeting foreign visitors to Hong Kong.
The dating website carried pictures of women who could provide high-quality escort services to foreign visitors costing HK$6,000 to HK$7,000 (US$764 to $891) per hour.
Judge WK Kwok adjourned the hearing to July 14 at the prosecution’s request so a separate case of money laundering against Wong and Pal-palatoc could proceed in the Eastern Court. The two are accused of laundering about HK$20 million in earnings from the illicit business.
“The money laundering cases against the two defendants have the same facts as the conspiracy cases to make sure there are no mishaps and further delays,” the prosecutor told the judge. The prosecutor said the money laundering charge would be consolidated with the sex-for-pay case at the District Court on July 4 before trial is scheduled.