Filipina fined $1,800 for illegally selling two bottles of beer
A Filipino asylum seeker was fined $1,800 after she was found guilty of selling liquor without a license in a bar in Central.
Eastern Deputy Magistrate Selma Masood ruled that the prosecution had proven that Gina C.L. violated Hong Kong Dutiable Commodities Ordinance when she sold two bottles of Blue Ice beer to undercover police officers.
“I believe the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had sold liquor without a license,” Masood said in her verdict on February 25.
According to the prosecution, two undercover police officers from the District Anti-Triad Squad of the Central police went to a bar on the 1st floor of Fai Man Building along Li Yuen Street West (popularly known as ‘alley-alley’ to Filipinos) on August 10 (a Friday) last year.
Gina greeted the two officers—a man and a woman—when they arrived at the bar at around 8:20 p.m. and escorted them to a table.
The Filipina then asked them what they wanted to drink and the two officers ordered two bottles of Blue Ice beer, which cost $25 per bottle.
After giving the two bottles to the male officer at the bar, Gina took $100 in marked money from him before giving him his change. The officer then returned to their table and he and his colleague drank their beers.
“The defendant approached and asked if they wanted any ice. They drank and confirmed it was alcohol,” Judge Masood said.
The two undercover officers then informed their colleagues and the police raided the bar. They confiscated 559 bottles of alcohol, nine tables, ten chairs, and a cash register with $1,148 in cash.
Gina asked for three days to raise the money for her fine. As an asylum seeker, she is not allowed to work in HK and depends on the financial assistance from the HK government to survive.
She said she had a Chinese boyfriend who gave her $500 a month, which she then sends to her mother and son back in the Philippines.