Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong

Second owner of Peya Travel arrested over flight scandal that left scores of Filipino domestic helpers stranded in Hong Kong

Peter Boyce taken in for questioning after scores of helpers were left fearing they would miss Christmas at home with their families

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 December, 2017, 8:42pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 December, 2017, 8:47pm

The Australian co-owner of a travel agency that failed to honour about 600 air ticket bookings for domestic helpers in Hong Kong was arrested on Wednesday.

Peter Boyce, 59, was taken in for questioning as a probe was launched into how Peya Travel – a company that sells air tickets and holiday packages targeting foreign domestic helpers – scuppered its customers’ festive plans, forcing airlines and the Manila government to step in to save the day.

Hong Kong flight ticket fiasco means heartbreaking Christmas disappointment for young sons of Filipino domestic helper

The investigation started last Friday after scores of helpers had turned up at Hong Kong International Airport earlier in the month to discover their flight bookings did not exist, despite having forked out up to HK$4,300 (US$550) – about a month’s salary for many of the workers – for a plane ticket home.

The number of potential victims soon multiplied. The travel agency’s premise in Central was besieged by angry helpers who feared they would miss Christmas at home with their families.

Free flights to Philippines for domestic helpers in Hong Kong caught up in Peya Travel fiasco

Separately, 39-year-old Rhea Donna Boyce, the managing director of the Filipino travel agency was bailed until early January, when she is required to report to police, pending further enquiries. She was arrested on Monday initially on conspiracy to defraud.

At least HK$2 million remained unaccounted for after Peya Travel agency was searched on Monday and equipment and documents seized for analysis.