Filipina Guilty of Faking Banknotes in Hong Kong

A Filipina model has been found guilty on a charge relating to counterfeiting Hong Kong banknotes.

District Court Deputy Judge Lily Wong Sze-lai handed the guilty verdict on SJ Legaspi, 24, on July 12 on a charge of possessing materials used in making fake bills. In 2015, the materials were found in the bedroom she shared with her boyfriend in their Kennedy Town residence.

Judge Wong said there was no dispute the equipment, materials including laptop computers, tablets, papers, printers, and bottles of ink were seized in the possession of the defendant and her boyfriend. The judge added that the defendant’s allegation that she was unable to understand what was said to her and unaware of her rights during a video recording interview conducted by police were unbelievable. Legaspi was reportedly provided an interpreter so she could understand the caution statement.

“The video recording interview was played in court and the defendant was willing and volunteered information [about the equipment and materials seized from her home],” said Judge Wong.

An evidence presented by the defense witness, the defendant’s boyfriend, who said he only used the equipment, and other gadgets to study the patterns of various banknotes because he was interested in skin tattoos, was likewise dismissed by the judge who said “one could see the sophisticated nature” of the patterns to “such minute details.”

Mitigating, Legaspi’s lawyer told the court his client had no prior conviction record, and at the time of her arrest, she was a “regular consumer of ice”, but said she has been clean since then. Legaspi would be sentenced on Aug. 1.

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