Detainee Fears Chinese Loan Shark

Detainee fears Chinese loan shark
Woman found inside alleged brothel

By Stephane Massinon
Calgary Herald
December 5, 2009
Comments (14)

A woman found in what police say is a Calgary brothel told an Immigration and Refugee board hearing that she fears for her life because she is in debt to Hong Kong loan shark.

Hung Ping Yiu was found Thursday in a house that police say was used for prostitution. Two days earlier, a woman was charged with running three bawdy houses where women were used as sex slaves, and human trafficking.

Police are investigating whether there is a link between Yiu's case and the charges laid earlier this week.

Thursday's bust was sparked by an investigation into an online erotic classified ad listing that culminated in Calgary police, RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency searching a house in the 1300 block of 1st Street N.E. Three women were found inside.

One of them was Yiu, 38, also known as Lucy. She appeared at an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing Friday that dealt with her detention pending a deportation hearing. She faces no criminal charges because she was handed over to border officials for possible deportation.

Friday afternoon, the board heard Yiu is scared for her safety in Hong Kong because she owes an unspecified amount of money to loan sharks.

“We have serious concerns she was brought here to pay back these loans,” said Catherine King, representing immigration, who also worries Yiu could be tied to human traffickers.

In a separate case, Hong Kong citizen Mui Fan Wong, 38, was ordered on Friday to leave Canada.

She was ordered deported –as early as next week–because she was not permitted to work in Canada, but admitted to working as a masseuse.

Police recently found her in what they believed was a brothel, though she is not a human trafficking victim.

Wong said she was paid for her massages, but has no training in the field.

“You can book my flight for me. I would like to leave on my own,” said Wong through a Cantonese interpreter at the hearing, which immediately followed Yiu's appearance before the board.

Wong had been in Canada since January and worked across the country. She faces no criminal charges.

Yiu, who did not have a lawyer, told the hearing she wants to stay in Canada to make money.

“She's adamant that she stays in Canada to pay back this debt,” said King, who argued for the woman's detention.

Yiu denied criminal wrongdoing, but said she knew she was in Canada longer than permitted.

“Every day I went to (a) Calgary casino.

“The time I stayed in the house, I was not doing prostitution,” said Yiu through a Cantonese interpreter.

“I only overstayed. I did not commit any crimes here,” said Yiu.

Her hearing Friday only dealt with whether she should stay behind bars and not about whether she should be deported. That hearing is scheduled for next week.

Police say the house was used for sex.

“We believe, based on what we found inside the home, in conjunction with what our investigation uncovered, that the home was set up for the purposes of prostitution,” said police in a statement Friday.

King also told the board that “Miss Yiu was found scantily clad and in lingerie along with two other females.”

The woman accused of human trafficking, meantime, made a brief court appearance Friday by closed-circuit television.

Linh Quy To, 52, had her case put over until Dec. 7. Her lawyer requested a Vietnamese interpreter be present for the hearing.

Xial Yun Wu, also known as Sophie or Lily, 40, was charged as an inmate of a common bawdy house in Thursday's case. Hung Chau Shing, also known as Angela, 46, is charged with being the keeper of a common bawdy house in the same case.

smassinon@theherald. canwest, com