3 Filipinos jailed in HK over bank scam get help


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MANILA — The Philippine government is providing assistance to three Filipino call center employees who were jailed over a bank scam in Hong Kong, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the DFA said the three were sentenced to five-month imprisonment on Monday “after their ‘free Hong Kong tour’ turned out to be a scam to open bank accounts using forged documents”.

Consul General Antonio Morales said the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong has provided support in-kind and legal advice to the Filipinos, whom the agency did not identify, including jail visits to ascertain their condition.

They are expected to be released in March after serving a reduced sentence for pleading guilty to two counts of “using a false instrument” before the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts.

According to the DFA, the three went to Hong Kong in October 2018 where they opened bank accounts at the Bank of China and Standard Chartered Bank using forged documents.

Authorities suspect these will be used for money laundering.

Despite successfully opening an account, bank officials became suspicious and they were arrested when they returned to the Bank of China on October 12, the DFA said. (PNABy Joyce Ann L. Rocamora


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