Filipina Helper Jailed in HK For Selling Fake Shoes on Her Day Off

In an effort to augment her income as a domestic worker in Hong Kong, a Filipina was sentenced to jail for six weeks on July 19 — suspended for a year — after admitting to selling fake shoes on her day off, reported The SUN.

Geraldine Hurboda, 36, pleaded guilty before Magistrate Peter Law in Eastern Court to charges of “possession for sale or any purpose of trade of goods to which a fake trademark was applied” and “breach of condition of stay”.

Hurboda was arrested December 3 last year by a Customs officer posing as a civilian while selling eight pairs of Nike shoes to fellow Filipinos near St Joseph Church on Garden Road in Central.

The officer watched for a few minutes as Hurboda laid out her merchandise on the pavement for buyers to check. The officer then arrested her.

Hurboda arrived in Hong Kong July 23, 2016 to work as a domestic worker for a family on Caine Road, Mid-Levels. Prior to her arrest, Hurboda had a clear record. However, she has since lost her job after her arrest.

Under Hong Kong laws it is forbidden for domestic workers to take up employment or business beyond what’s outlined in their employment contract.

In mitigation, her counsel from the Duty Lawyer Service said Hurboda had admitted her offenses at the earliest instance, adding that she committed them because she wanted to send more money to her ailing mother. The lawyer read a letter from Hurboda which said she was remorseful and was hoping to get another job in Hong Kong. Her former employer also sent a letter attesting to her good character.

Magistrate Law imposed a two-week sentence on Hurboda for selling fake goods and six weeks for breaching her condition of stay. The sentences are to be served concurrently but suspended for 12 months.

“The nature of your breach of condition of stay is different from the nature of other breach of condition cases I’ve heard. Those cases involved people who are not allowed to work at all in Hong Kong. In your case, you were working in Hong Kong when you breached your condition of stay,” Law told Hurboda.