The Republic of Palau State Governor, online business executive and two Filapino nationals are facing charges in relation to alleged prostitution and money-laundering operations at the ATT Karaoke Bar and Disco located in the Malakal district of Palau’s largest city, Koror.
Peleliu State Governor, Temmy Shmull, is facing charges for allegedly soliciting prostitution from the said establishment. Wealthy local businessman and the sponsor of the ATT establishment, Haruo Esang, is facing charges of unlawful employment restrictions, and aiding and abetting a violation of requirement of obtaining a foreign investment approval certificate to operate a business with a foreign national.
ATT “owner” Grace Baconga, a female citizen of the Philippines, and local sponsor Jeryl Blas, also a Philippine foreign national, are both facing numerous criminal charges including people trafficking, advancing prostitution (coercion), profiting from prostitution (coercion), profiting from prostitution (no coercion), exploiting a trafficked person, money laundering, unlawful wage obligation and unlawful employee restriction.
According to the Attorney General’s Office the activities charged against all of the defendants reportedly occurred numerous times primarily at ATT.
Earlier reports indicate that three female workers fled from the Bar reportedly complaining that the DJ assaulted one of them. The workers further claim that they were recruited in the Philippines to work as waitresses at a fine dining restaurant and cashier. ATT is not a fine dining restaurant. They were reportedly shocked to find out upon arrival to Palau that they were to be working at a bar as “Guest Relation Officers.”
The bar closed down temporarily following the police raid on December 10, 2013, however, the future of the bar is uncertain with this criminal case pending in the Palau Supreme Court.