Filipina hawker avoids prison in HK

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Central

A 50-year-old Filipino domestic worker who was caught selling fake Nike and Under Armour caps in Central during her day off luckily avoided prison.

Eastern Presiding Magistrate Peter Law on January 31 meted out a suspended sentence to Milagros P, who admitted to the charges of selling fake goods and violating the conditions of her stay in Hong Kong as a foreign domestic worker.

“What you did is you tried to earn extra money on your leisure time. I will sentence you on this basis,” Law told the Filipino woman.

The judge sentenced her to a total of six weeks in prison but decided to suspend the sentence for 12 months.

“You don’t have to go to prison on the condition that you must not commit any offense in the next 12 months,” Judge Law said.

The prosecution said that Milagros was caught selling the fake branded caps beside the elevated walkway between the Central Market and the Hang Seng Bank headquarters in Central.

“A group of officers who were patrolling against those selling fake goods saw the defendant with a trolley and selling the caps,” the prosecutor said.

When one of the officers asked her about the price of the Nike caps, Milagros answered that they cost $20. The Customs officers declared their identity and arrested her.

They saw that she was also carrying a bag that contained fake Under Armour caps and confiscated it. Milagros later admitted that she bought the caps in Sham Sui Po for $15 each.

“She said it was her first time to sell the goods in Central,” the prosecutor said.

Milagros’ current employers threw their support behind the worker and wrote a letter to Judge Law asking for leniency.

“Her employer testifies that she is a reliable person and that they entrust her with taking care of their daughter,” Milagros’ lawyer said, adding that she had been working for them for the last three years.

Milagros first came to Hong Kong in 1994 and has a 29-year-old son who has a mental disability and is being taken cared of by her sister back in the Philippines.

“She is the breadwinner of her family and earns extra money by selling the counterfeit products,” her lawyer said.

“This is the first time she committed a crime. She had never been in trouble with the law,” her added.

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