Three people, including a Hong Kong employer and an employment agent has been charged after a Filipina domestic worker was brought to China to work despite not legally allowed to perform duties there, a report from Hong Kong News said.
The Hong Kong Immigration Department filed a criminal charge against the defendants — Hong Kong employer SW Wong, her cousin Z Huang, and employment agent CK Chan, as the Filipina helper, R. Ubaldo, testified before the court.
Ubaldo gave her testimony before the Kowloon City Courts between the 18th and 20th of July during the conspiracy to defraud trial of the three defendants. The helper said she signed a contract on 15th of April 2015 to work as Wong’s domestic helper. Among others, the condition of Ubaldo’s contract states that she will look after Wong’s two children and they reside at a Hung Hom address.
According to Ubaldo, it was Huang who interviewed her, as she was informed by Chan that the employer liked her. After signing the employment contract and waiting for the Immigration Department’s issuance of visa, Ubaldo commenced her work on 11th of June 2015.
Ubaldo added that Wong did not live in the address and it was Huang who gave her instructions and pay her salary in cash.
It turned out that the two children Ubaldo took care of were Huang’s and not Wong’s even if the contract stipulated otherwise.
In August 2015, Huang told Ubaldo that they were going to China for a holiday.
On 17th of August 2015, she, Wong and Huang’s daughter went to apply for a visa so Ubaldo could enter the mainland.
Ubaldo then sought clarification from Chan about the apparent inconsistency working for Huang even though she was employed by Wong, Chan said “no problem because they’re sisters.”
Ten days after, Ubaldo, along with Huang, and her children left Hong Kong for Guangzhou where she was made to work in the house, run some errands and took Huang’s children to classes.In China, Ubaldo said, Huang took her passport.
“I did not like it because I was afraid that if something happened to me in China, how could they identify my body?” the Filipina told the court through an Ilocano interpreter.
After she shared her concerns to Chan, the agent assured Ubaldo that her passport would be returned. After a brief return to Hong Kong upon expiration of her visa, Ubaldo was told by both Wong and Chan that she would have to go back to China.
When Ubaldo refused, her employment was terminated. The Filipina then proceeded to the Philippine Consulate General for advice. She then went to the Immigration Department to file a complaint against Wong, Huang and Chan.
In the court, the prosecution presented an Immigration officer, who said only a Hong Kong resident — not someone from the mainland — would be allowed to hire a foreign domestic helper in Hong Kong. The officer, however, clarified that there was nothing that would bar an employer from having her relatives or even friends stay in her residence and let her domestic helper serve them as well.
Upon hearing the prosecution’s case, Deputy Judge Andrew Ma said he found there was a case to answer against each of the three defendants.
The trial was adjourned to prepare for the defense’s rebuttal on 14th of September.