Filipina Helper in HK Jailed For Taking Part-time Job

A Filipina domestic helper who has spent more than a decade working in Hong Kong has been sentenced to more than two months in prison after she was found guilty performing odd jobs not stated in her employment contract.

According to Hong Kong News, Shatin Court Deputy Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan on June 6 said the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that SV Magsano breach her condition of stay after she took up employment in a restaurant located inside World Wide House in Central.

Magsano, along with another defendant Dionne SB, were apprehended by Immigration officers on Feb. 19 after they were allegedly caught putting lunchboxes in a plastic bag and passing them on to customers. The other defendant was later acquitted of charge against him.

The prosecution, who also said defendants were taking money from customers and putting them in a bucket, argued that Magsano violated her condition of stay in the city by taking the job, while Dionne should not be helping out because a removal order has been issued against him.

In his defense, Dionne said he was in the restaurant because he was hungry and wanted to eat Filipino food.

“When I was about to leave the restaurant… one lady asked me ‘kuya, please hand me my lunch.’

“When I handed it to the lady, and I was about to go out again, there was a crowd, and then a lady and a man said to me ‘ID, ID, ID’,” Dionne said through a court interpreter.

Asked why he helped in handing out the lunch boxes to customers, the defendant said the restaurant premises was getting crowded and he could not get out. He added that he handed three pieces of lunchboxes to three customers.

“I left, but they (Immigration officers) approached me,” Dionne said.

In handing out the verdict on the case, Judge Lam ruled that Dionne was a credible witness, but noted inconsistencies in Magsano’s evidence.