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Live-out maid to help probe of boss’ role in illegal work

31 March 2016

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina domestic worker has agreed to help in the investigation of her employer after she pleaded guilty in Shatin Court to an amended charge of conspiracy to defraud and another charge of breach of condition of stay.
Catherine P. Senica, 40, had just been led away from the court after being convicted of the charges on Mar 18 when Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma asked her duty lawyer if he had proposed to her the idea of helping in the investigation of her employer so she could get a lower sentence.
When the lawyer answered “no,” Ma instructed the lawyer to do so and delayed the sentencing.
Before the court took a break, the lawyer returned and told the magistrate that Senica had agreed to assist investigators. Ma then ordered the helper to return to the court on Apr 1.
The prosecution said investigation of the case was continuing, after it was found out that Senica was working two days a week in the pet shop at the instruction of her employer, Pang Chi-wai of Kowloon City.
Senica was arrested by Immigration officers who raided the QQ Fuku pet shop in the afternoon of Feb 16 this year after receiving information that a Filipina was working there illegally. The prosecution said she was found brushing the dog’s hair when the raiders arrived.
A record check revealed Senica was a domestic helper in Hong Kong, Under caution, she admitted Pang had instructed her to work on Tuesdays and Fridays from 12:05pm to 10pm in the shop where she took orders from the person-in-charge, the employer’s sister.
The officers also discovered that the helper was not staying in the employer’s flat on 49 South Wall St as her contract indicated, but with her boyfriend in another flat at 45 Kai Tak Road.
The prosecution said Senica had admitted that she was aware of the condition of her stay after starting to serve in Pang’s household in 2013. But after discussing with Pang, she moved in with her boyfriend on Jan 8, 2014.
When Senica applied for an extension of her work contract on Jan 6, 2014, she declared that she would work and reside in the house of Pang, thus conspiring with her employer to defraud the Immigration Department, the prosecutor said.

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