OFW jailed for helping employer with cancer tend HK food shop

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Shatin Magistracy

AN overseas Filipino worker was sentenced to six weeks in prison after she was caught working illegally in the food shop of her employer’s family in Sham Shui Po.

Deputy Sha Tin Magistrate Cheng Yukit on March 19 sentenced Racquel V.S., a domestic worker, to a month and a half in prison after she admitted to working at the shop because her female employer, a certain Madame Wong, was feeling sick because she had cancer.

“I accept you helped your employer, who is suffering from cancer, out of the goodness of your heart but, as I said, imprisonment is the usual sentence,” Judge Cheng told the helper.

“Other than your good intentions, I do not see any more mitigating factor,” he added.

Law enforcers arrested Racquel after she was caught at her employer’s shop on December 12. Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong are not allowed to take other forms or employment. Racquel was detained for two days before she was allowed to post bail.

“Madame Wong asked for a favor from the defendant—help her with the family food shop,” said the worker’s lawyer.

“Because the defendant had a good nature and a good heart, she agreed to help the employer,’ he added.

The lawyer said Racquel did not regard the work she did at the shop for that particular day “as employment.”

“She had no expectation of any extra pay or benefit. It was simply to help her employer who was feeling unwell that day,” he said.

The lawyer asked Judge Cheng for a suspended jail sentence but the magistrate pointed out that, under the law, imprisonment was the penalty for Racquel’s crime.

Meanwhile, the Immigration Department (ImmD) investigators apprehended 13 illegal workers, all of whom were Vietnamese, when they conducted several raids on March 27.

They raided food factories, a restaurant, a residential building and a cleaning service company in Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan, Quarry Bay and Sham Tseng.

“Nine male Vietnamese and four female Vietnamese illegal workers, aged 21 to 56, were arrested. Upon identity checking, two men and three women produced for inspection recognisance forms issued by the ImmD, which prohibit them from taking employment,” an ImmD statement said

“Three employers suspected of employing the illegal workers were arrested and the investigation is ongoing,” it added.

Brought to court, the 13 defendants pleaded guilty to taking illegal employment and were sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Meanwhile, the Immigration Department (ImmD) investigators apprehended 13 illegal workers, all of whom were Vietnamese, when they conducted several raids on March 27.

They raided food factories, a restaurant, a residential building and a cleaning service company in Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan, Quarry Bay and Sham Tseng.

“Nine male Vietnamese and four female Vietnamese illegal workers, aged 21 to 56, were arrested. Upon identity checking, two men and three women produced for inspection recognisance forms issued by the ImmD, which prohibit them from taking employment,” an ImmD statement said

“Three employers suspected of employing the illegal workers were arrested and the investigation is ongoing,” it added.

Brought to court, the 13 defendants pleaded guilty to taking illegal employment and were sentenced to 15 months in prison.

 

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