On May 22, troche 2013, thumb Palau’s Attorney General charged Richard Huang and 13 others, symptoms including an attorney, Mark Doran, a police officer, Marsei Orrukem, the former President of Palau’s brother, Lucius Malsol, and former Senatorial candidate, Earnest Ongidobel, in a criminal complaint that included offenses of prostitution, money laundering and human trafficking allegedly occurring at the DW Motel and Shangri-la Massage and Spa.
In 2012 Feng Jui Huang (aka “Richard” Huang), a Taiwanese national and foreign worker in Palau, publicly accused Palau Senator Hokkins Baules of framing him in a prostitution ring and money-laundering scheme. Huang went international with these accusations and even asked Taiwan nationals to refrain from visiting Palau and asked the Taiwan government to suspend financial assistance to Palau.
The Shangri-la Massage operation attracted the attention of local authorities when six of its workers from the Philippines filed complaints with the Palau labor department over allegations that they have been forced into the sex trade. Police acted quickly on the information and immediately executed warrants at both the motel and the massage parlor seizing assets, including cash found on the premises.
On May 23, 2013, the day after filing the charges, the Attorney General issued a “Press Release” explaining that the criminal charges stemmed from a “five month investigation by the Financial Intelligence Unit.” The Attorney General also stated that each of the 14 co-defendants were charged with one or more of the following charges: human trafficking and exploiting a trafficked person, prostitution (advancing prostitution and profiting from prostitution), money laundering, and unlawful wage, work, and employee restrictions. The release did not identify which defendants were facing which charges or the possible penalties.
Despite the fact that the defendants were not yet served with the criminal complaint outlining the charges against them, on May 23, 2013, Palau’s local newspaper, Tia Belau, featured a front-page story on the case leaking the names of some of the defendants. After seeing the headline news article and on the same afternoon that the government issued its press release, one of the named defendants, Lucius Malsol, went to Palau’s Courthouse to get a copy of the Complaint against him. Malsol was told that he could not have a copy because the documents were still being “processed.” Several other Defendants have also informed OTV that they still have not been served with the documents that set forth their alleged violations of the law.
Under Palau law, the defendants may be eligible for a jury trial if they face more than 12 years of imprisonment for their alleged offenses. The other defendants named in the Attorney General’s Press Release are Mercilyn Huang, Nescie Sebastian, Mylene Bautista, Mhohanna Demesa, Lea Montanez, Rodelyn Santos, Rolley Chico Tsuneo, Xiulin LI, and Likai Jiang.
OTV will continue to update its viewers regarding this case.