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Filipinas hauled to court for supermarket theft

06 July 2017

Depressed because of pressing money problems, a terminated Filipina domestic helper admitted taking a $39 worth of shower gel from a Park N Shop outlet in Aberdeen on March 16.

Emily S. Agpoun, 39, was ordered bound over for the sum of $2,000 for 12 months by Magistrate Bina Chainrai at Eastern Court on June 20 after agreeing to the written facts of the case.

She was not asked to enter a plea, but was told not to re-offend within the next 12 months, or she would be ordered to pay $2,000, on top of whatever sentence might be imposed for the new offense.

Agpoun was also ordered to pay court costs of $500, which was the same amount she had posted as police bail.

Shortly afterward, another Filipina also appeared in court over the alleged theft of a hair gel, also from a ParkNShop store in Aberdeen.

Jonalyn Respicio was not asked to enter a plea, but was told to return to court on July 14. Her police bail of $200 was raised by Magistrate Chainrai to $500, and she was told that she needed to pay the balance by close of office hours.

Agpoun, who had fidgeted throughout the hearing of her case, was visibly relieved that the theft charge against her was withdrawn, and she would not spend time behind bars.

Asked afterwards why she took the Dove shower gel, she said it was because money was tight as she had been unemployed for a few months. She said she was terminated by her employer after only six months of work, and was allowed to remain in Hong Kong only because she had filed a labour claim against her employer.

When detained by police following the theft of the shower gel, the Ilocana was found to have $633.60 in her purse, but she said the money was meant for her visa extension fee.

Told that the bound over meant she did not have any police record and could thus seek new employment in Hong Kong, Agpoun, who had previously worked in Qatar, said she had already decided to go back to the Philippines. However, she said she would still try to apply for work abroad, maybe in Singapore. - DCLM

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