The former senior Hong Kong government lawyer being held in the Philippines after a multimillion-dollar fake passport scam was busted has told officials he was fooled like everyone else. Barrister Stuart Mason-Parker, 50, claims he was duped into the racket in which people paid US$3,500 ($27,000) for citizenship and a promise of a job on a non-existent Western Pacific island paradise. Commissioner of Immigration Rufus Rodriguez said Mason-Parker had been co-operating with investigators since his arrest in Olongapo, west of Manila, on Tuesday and was unlikely to be charged. He is set to be deported at the end of the inquiry. The scam, in which people pretended to be officials of the Dominion of Melchizedek, is believed to have netted more than US$1 million from hundreds of hopeful emigrants. Mason-Parker, once a senior Crown Counsel before leaving for a lucrative private practice, refused to discuss his case with the Post yesterday. The 17-year Hong Kong resident is now being detained in a dingy, smelly block next to the Bureau of Immigration headquarters in the old Intramuros area of Manila. Looking tanned, if thin, he thanked his friends in Hong Kong for standing by him. Mr Rodriguez said Mason-Parker, who told applicants he was the minister of justice for Melchizedek, was trying to assist in the search for the fake island's 'president' John Gillespie and the scam's originator David Korem. 'He said he had been duped and when he realised that, he disengaged from the group,' Mr Rodriguez said. 'If he was not in the group, then why was he there when we went to arrest them?' Australian Dennis Oakley and Malaysian Chew Chin Yee are being held on minor immigration offences while the scam is being investigated. 'We would rather just deport them. If we charge them with swindling, they will go on bail and they might do this again to pay that bail.'