FDH, employer charged with illegal employment in Quarry Bay

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A Filipino domestic worker was charged in court after she was allegedly caught working illegally in an unlicensed guesthouse in Quarry Bay.

Johara M.C. pleaded not guilty at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts to the charge of breach of condition of stay.

Foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong are not allowed to take other jobs during their stay in the city.

Her employer, C.K. Kwong, was charged with aiding and abetting a breach of condition of stay and keeping a guesthouse without a certificate of exemption or license. He also pleaded not guilty.

During their court trial on Nov. 7, a government inspector testified before Deputy Magistrate Leona Chan Pui-man that he went undercover and booked a bed at the illegal guesthouse inside Tai Fung Building in Quarry Bay from January 17 to 19 earlier this year. He was informed that it would cost him $309.

When he arrived at the Quarry Bay Station at around 3:45 p.m. on January 17, Johara allegedly met him and accompanied him to the guesthouse.

“She asked me to follow her. After walking for 10 meters we arrived at the building and went up the stairs. I followed her up the stairs,” the witness said.

The inspector said that, when they arrived at the guesthouse, he saw that it had two rooms, “a big living room,” and a bathroom.

It had bunk beds that were numbered. He added that Kwong was also there.

“The beds had numbers, and No. 12, that was my bed. (Johara) pointed (to it),” the inspector said in his testimony.

“I asked (Johara) how much the rent was and she said, ‘For three nights, it was $324.’ I took out (the money) and handed
it over to (her),” he said.

“After receiving it, she did not have $6 change to give so I said, ‘You owe me$6,’” he added.

Afterwards, he called his colleagues and they raided the guesthouse.

The trial resumed today (Nov. 23) at the Eastern courts.

Meanwhile, the Immigration Department (ImmD) mounted a series of anti-illegal worker operations, together with the Hong Kong Police Force and the Labour Department from November 12 to 15 and arrested nine illegal workers and three suspected employers.

They raided 21 target locations including commercial buildings, a dog shelter, a farm, residential flats, restaurants and a shopping mall.

Enforcement officers also raided four target locations in Sha Tin including a shop and restaurants.

These raids in Sha Tin led to the arrest of a female illegal worker, aged 39. Meanwhile, one woman, aged 50, was suspected of employing the illegal worker and she was also arrested.