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Netizens debate jailing of Sasa owner’s maid for theft

14 April 2016

The recent jailing of a Filipino domestic worker for allegedly stealing $50,000 worth of branded goods from her employer, Eleanor Kwok, the founder of cosmetics group Sa Sa, has set the internet abuzz.
Irene Canoneo Gomera, the 34-year-old helper, was jailed for two months after she confessed to stealing bras and branded handbags, among other valuable items, from Kwok’s house on Island Road in Deep Water Bay.
The helper was immediately fired after her arrest.
Not a few netizens, especially on expatriate sites like GeoExpat, questioned why the helper was jailed for taking “a couple” of items” from her employer.
The opening post from “Lord Dashwood” read: “My take...why was she sent to prison? Was that really necessary? Finally, would you have called the police? I'm not sure I would have...anyway, how the hell is this news...someone steals a couple of handbags and some phone chargers??”
But Sri, another commenter countered: “$50K worth of product taken from you and you'd not call the cops? What would your threshold be? I read the news over the weekend and thought everyone got what they deserved.”
To this, Hullexille replied: “If she stole HKD 50k worth of stuff from a shop what would her sentence have been? Personally I would have tried to get my stuff back and/or the money, then sacked her rather than call the police.”
Another who goes by the name TheBrit, opined: If anyone stole from me, I would call the police and expect to see them prosecuted.” But as an afterthought added: “I have not followed this case at all, but it does strike me as pretty odd that the "stolen goods" were simply lying about in the maids room. It also highlights yet another issue with the FDH system forcing maids to live in with their employers - making the potential for framing very easy. No idea if this happened in this particular case though - presumably not as she seems to have pleaded guilty”.
Court records showed Kwok was Gomera’s first employer. In mitigation, the defense lawyer said the made had given in to “temptation” as she’d never been exposed to so many valuable items in the past.
Apart from handbags and bras, Gomera reportedly stole T-shirts, socks, umbrellas and phone chargers.
The court was told Gomera is a single mother of two, and her children are currently being looked after by their grandparents. She would most likely be deported back to the Philippines after serving her sentence. – The SUN

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