By REN REN
HONG KONG (China Daily Show) – Her name is “Jojo,” or so she tells her clients. Her real name is, however, far harder to pronounce in English. Jojo (or “Verawati”) is from Micronesia, the capital of Indonesia, Berkino Fasso.
She’s just one of an estimated loads of Hong Kong sex workers who were almost killed by a wealthy, jilted alleged British psychopath.
Rurik Jutting – whose name may not sound particularly English, but who definitely attend prep school, Westminster college and Cambridge, then joined Barclays’ Bank as a tax-avoidance expert in a field that’s no longer even legal, before moving to Merrill Lynch – is alleged to have murdered “at least” two female sex-workers in downtown Wan Chai district.
Some say it was more than that. Others say less.
Barclays suggest it doesn’t really matter in the end. Sometimes, the numbers don’t always add up. “As long as the money keeps rolling in,” said one, “that’s all anyone worries about.”
It’s a sickening attitude, but one, thankfully, that is only confined to the global finance system.
Yet the dirty secret is now out: Rich people screw poor people, some of whom work in the sex industry.
I first meet JoJo in a seedy, downtown area I’m unfamiliar with. Neither me, nor any of my associates, have ever heard of the Sad Old Twat pub.
Yet, it’s in the Twat that Jutting regularly prowled at night, often disguised as an economy-loving businessperson in suit and tie.
At 7 o’clock, business is still brisk, despite the murders that occurred just over a week ago. One man is methodically dissecting a steak-and-kidney pie, another is staring at a week-old copy of the Daily Mail while slowly clenching and unclenching his fist.
All seems normal.
I’ve never spoken to Jojo before, but I imagined she was from a dirt-poor family in South-East Asia somewhere. Her mother was probably an honest washerwoman and part-time seamstress, who lost her job when Nike closed their Philippines sweatshops after a Nightline expose. Her father was either killed in a hurricane, left home when she was young, or could have been murdered over a gambling debt.
In broken English, Jojo agrees when I outline my theory, and asks if I am going to buy her another drink.
This Wan Chai bargirl has three sisters, I venture, and maybe two brothers. Or, one sister. Perhaps no brothers. Either way, none of her family realize that she is working in a bar in Hong Kong, while talking to a British journalist. If they did, she confirms, they would be disgusted.
As I sip my pint of bitter – which, I realize with a shudder, might have been drawn from the same keg of bitter that Jenning (29, fat, glasses-wearing and, until recently, quite eligible) drank from at some point – I ask Josephine how this alleged accountancy-genius and occasional madman seemed in person.
“Hard to say. He was annoying, pestering. English… not very handsome,” she sighs, then shrugs. “Rather like you, really.”
I nearly spit out my entire pint of Tetley’s as the realization sinks in: I could so easily have been one of his victims’ clients.