7 Filipinos guilty of illegal gambling in HK

Image title

North Point

A judge in Sai Wan Ho fined seven Filipinos yesterday (March 12) after they were arrested in an illegal gambling den in North Point.

Eastern Presiding Magistrate Peter Law ordered the defendants—deliveryman Rolando R.L., 49; housewife Carolina L.F., 46; bar tender RJ M.R., 30; bar tender Roberto S.A., 42; Thelma G.A., 43; asylum seeker Liziel L.R., 44; and security officer Michael G.Y., 28—to each pay a fine of $500.

The seven Filipinos, all of whom were HK residents except for Liziel, had pleaded guilty to illegal gambling.

The prosecution said the defendants were arrested when the police raided an unlicensed gambling establishment on the 14th floor of Bank Tower, 351-353 King’s Road, North Point on Dec. 7.

The police confiscated playing cards, gambling machines, and around $3,000 in cash from the illegal gambling den.

Besides the seven Filipinos, four Chinese nationals and a Thailander were also arrested, investigators said.

The police also recovered from the alleged operator of the gambling den, T.M. Tsang, a plastic bag that contained .49 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu).

Tsang and the Thailander did not attend yesterday’s hearing. Judge Law issued arrest warrants against them.

When asked if they had anything to say in mitigation, the defendants, who had criminal records, stayed quiet.

But some of them bowed and said thank you when Judge Law said their fine was $500 and that this could be deducted from their bail money.

Under Hong Kong’s Gambling Ordinance, persons who gamble in illegal gambling dens face a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of three months on the first conviction; a fine of $20,000 and six months imprisonment on the second conviction; and fine of $30,000 and imprisonment of nine months on the third conviction.