With over 370,000 foreign domestic helpers (majority or 200,000 of which come from the Philippines) out of the 7 million residents in Hong Kong, it’s not surprising to find different kinds of news about this sector more often than not.
After all, the OFW community in Hong Kong Kong, which is predominantly comprised of domestic helpers, has been around for nearly five decades, some of which have seen their former wards grow through adulthood during their stay in the country. And while this may sound good and noble, not all domestic helpers have good stories to tell about their stay overseas.
Filipina Caught Shoplifting Fined HKD 2,000 by Eastern Court
Let’s take the case of a Filipina domestic worker who was arrested for stealing items worth HKD 1,600 at a supermarket in Quarry Bay last October, but was spared from prison after admitting to her crime, and was instead given a fine of HKD 2,000, as per a report by the Sun.
The domestic helper, D.A. Toquero (not her real name), a mother of two children aged 10 and 7, was given the sentence of paying only a fine instead of imprisonment after admitting to one count of theft at the Eastern Court last January 15.
Based on the report gathered by the prosecution, the offense took place at the Aeon supermarket last October 14.
Toquero was reported to have entered the establishment around 3:50 pm and took items placed on the racks and hid them in her reusable shopping bag and back pack.
Among the items recovered from Toquero’s bags were two packs of coffee (HKD 107.80), ten packs of chocolate (HKD 242.80), two boxes of fish oil capsules (HKD 350), four packs of baby products (HKD 199), one T-shirt (HKD 239), a pair of shoes (HKD 299), and a hoodie (HKD 159).
Without her knowing, an Aeon security guard in plain clothes saw her activity inside the supermarket, and confronted her outside the establishment to inspect her bags.
When asked by security to provide a sale invoice for the items, Toquero could not provide any. She was arrested and charged with theft on November 16.
Upon mitigation, when Toquero’s duty lawyer had presented her case being the family’s breadwinner, the Magistrate took into consideration the accused’s clear record and the fact that all stolen items had been returned to the owner. Ultimately Toquero was only given a fine of HKD 2,000, which had already been discounted by one-third for her guilty plea.