Domestic worker fined for selling food, drinks in Victoria Park

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Victoria Park

AN Indonesian domestic worker was fined for illegally selling food and drinks at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay.

Deputy Magistrate Peter Yu Chun Cheung ordered Atul to pay $400 after she pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal hawking at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on November 14.

The Indonesian, who had been in HK for four years, said she did not know it was illegal to sell food at Victoria Park and that the arresting officers spoke to her in Cantonese, which she said she “did not really know.”

“I don’t speak Cantonese very well. So, I don’t really understand. When he (the officer from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department) asked what (bottled water) I sold for $5, I just nodded. And there was a camera and so I got scared,“ Atul told the judge.

Two LCSD officers caught her red-handed selling food and drinks at Victoria Park at around 2 p.m. on April 18.

Atul caught their attention because she was openly selling food and beverages near the park’s gate number 3. From a distance of about three meters, the officers waited until Atul handed over a box of food to a woman and received her payment.

The officers immediately approached Atul and showed her their ID cards. They then asked Atul if she was really selling food and the domestic worker “nodded and answered, ‘Yes,’” one of the officer said.

They then confiscated from the domestic worker three bottles of water, four bottles of green tea drinks and several boxes of food.

The officers asked the worker the price of the bottled water and Atul answered that it cost $5 per bottle. They then confiscated from the domestic worker three bottles of water, four bottles of green tea drinks and several boxes of food.

The officers asked the worker the price of the bottled water and Atul answered that it cost $5 each. She added that she earned a profit of $2 from each bottle sold.

At the court, Atul initially insisted that she was innocent, adding that she did not know it was illegal to sell food and drinks in Victoria Park.

“Now I tell you. It all depends on your decision whether you want to plead guilty or not. If this trial continues and you are found guilty, you can be fined a maximum of $2,000 or a 14-day prison sentence. But if you plead guilty, then you can get a penalty discount for showing remorse, ” Judge Yu told the worker.

He also noted that there were seven photos and two witnesses who will show that Atul was illegally selling food and drinks if the trial were to proceed.

The trial was adjourned for 20 minutes while the worker discussed the matter with her employers, who came to court. When the trial resumed, Atul decided to admit guilt and the judge decided to reduce her sentence to a fine of $400.

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