Ex-OFW gets seven years for selling shabu, cocaine, ketamine in HK

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The High Court in Admiralty


A 37-year-old former Filipino domestic helper was sentenced at the High Court this morning (October 25) to nearly eight years in prison for selling shabu and other illegal drugs in Yau Ma Tei.

High Court Judge S.T. Poon convicted Josephine M.F. and sentenced her to seven years and 10 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to trafficking 27.9 grams of cocaine, 23.09 grams of shabu, and 19 grams of ketamine.

Josephine’s sentence was also increased by nine months because she was an asylum seeker at the time of the offense.

“Her WhatsApp messages were retrieved and there were messages relating to the trafficking of dangerous drugs,” Judge Poon said.

The prosecution said Josephine was arrested on April 28, 2018 inside a flat at Room C, Flat B, 1st Floor, 119 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei.

Armed with a search warrant, the police entered the flat at around 12:35 p.m. that day and Josephine opened the door.

There were two other persons in the room, including the flat owner, Charlotte M.B., a Hong Kong resident who was also charged for allowing the room to be used as a drug den.

The police announced that they were going to conduct a search and a policewoman noticed Josephine trying to cover a black toiletry bag with her right hand.

The officer asked what it contained but the defendant remained silent. When they searched it, they found five plastic bags containing the shabu, one plastic bag containing the cocaine, and another that had the ketamine.

They also found in the flat empty resealable packets, an electronic weighing scale, and a notepad.

There were also two inhaling devices that had traces of cocaine and a purse that had $18,450 in cash. Josephine’s DNA was found in the purse.

During the investigation, the Filipino woman initially remained silent but later said that she was a friend of Charlotte and was just staying there overnight in the room.

But when she was charged in court on April 29, Josephine confessed and pleaded guilty.

Her lawyer said Josephine first came to Hong Kong in 2014 to work as a foreign domestic worker but she was terminated in 2016.

She overstayed and was sentenced to six weeks in prison in December 2016 but her jail sentence then was suspended for three years.

That jail sentence was activated by her drug offense but Judge Poon ruled that it should run concurrently with Josephine’s seven-year prison term. The defendant has four children who are still in school back in the Philippines.

Last month, another former Filipino domestic worker turned asylum seeker was sentenced to five years in prison for selling shabu, also in Yau Ma Tei.