About 35 Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong have sought the help of the Small Claims Tribunal as they present a complaint against Ester Ylagan, a recruiter who promised them jobs in Britain and Canada. The complainants said Ylagan required them to pay an amount of $5,000 to $20,000. They are hoping that they could get their money back.
According to the complainants, Ylagan used her business Mike’s Secretarial Services as she conducted transactions with them. She gave them briefing about the fictitious work opportunities and eventually began collecting money from them. Ylagan told them Mike’s Secretarial Services used to have a shop at the World Wide Plaza in Central.
Aside from Mike’s, Ylagan also told her victims that she is the boss of Emry’s Service Staff Employment Agency – a reputable company that has been around for 30 years in the industry.
However, official records from the Inland Revenue Department indicate that Ylagan is no longer the owner of Emry’s. Since July 15, it is now co-owned by Ridge Michael Ylagan, her son, together with Ricardo Ylagan.
Meanwhile, the records of Mike’s verify that “international recruitment” has recently been added to its nature of business effective June 17 of this year. Previously, the business was only providing “typing, xeroxing and internet surfing” services.
Allegedly, Ylagan asked for $10,000 each from those applying for Britain jobs and $15,000 for Canadian ones. Some paid in installment while others gave the payment in case. Two complainants said they paid for themselves and for another person which amounted for $20,000 each of them.
Ylagan never issued any receipts to the applicants, telling them she didn’t want to be taxed by the Hong Kong government and that the money will be directly sent to her London-based partner for their FICC (foreign immigrant clearance certificate).
The applicants were asked to fill up bio-data sheets and their payments were recorded on paper slips.
The victims began to be suspicious when the job orders didn’t come in June as Ylagan promised them. The claims are scheduled to be heard at the Tribunal for several days beginning this August 29.
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