A 31-year-old Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong has been sentenced to 17 months in prison for using a fake ID to get a better-paying job in a restaurant.
The Filipina, identified only by her initials A.B.B., has sought a lighter sentence through her lawyer, but the Eastern Courts Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai rejected the plea.
In a ruling issued June 30, the Filipina was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the charge os using a fake Hong Kong ID and additional two months for the breach of the condition of her stay.
The defense lawyer said A.B.B. is the sole breadwinner of her family after her husband left her for another woman. They have two daughters, aged 13 and 11 years old. She came from a family of farmers and went to Hong Kong to earn more money.
“The reason she committed the crime is because she was trying to earn more money,” the lawyer said. “She knew it was a foolish act and she is remorseful. She has no other means to support her family, and her children will lose their schooling.”
The court, however, did not give credence to the defense’s argument.
According to the court, besides voluntary surrender, there was no humanitarian grounds cited to lighten the Filipina’s sentence.
Court records showthe Filipina arrived in Hong Kong on March 26, 2014 and worked as a household service worker.
After obtaining her fake Hong Kong ID, she worked as a part-time cleaner at a restaurant in Sai Ying Pun. She was employed as a full-time dishwasher by the restaurant a few months later, after, with a salary of 12,000 Hong Kong dollars, about three times of the minimum salary of 4,110 Hong Kong dollars of domestic helpers.
The Filipina was arrested after she tried to encash a cheque of her salary in February at an HSBC branch on Bonham street. A bank official alerted authorities after noticing discrepancies in her ID.