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Overstaying Pinay caught shoplifting

16 September 2017

A Filipina who worked for 19 years as a domestic helper then returned as a visitor and overstayed, was jailed for 14 days on Aug 30 after she pleaded guilty in Eastern Court to a charge each of theft and breach of condition of stay.

Ana Saldivar, 52 and single, was found to have overstayed in Hong Kong for a year after she was caught shoplifting in a Park ‘N’ Shop supermarket in Sai Wan Ho on Aug 29.

The prosecution said the Filipina went to the supermarket at 7:50 am and took three bottles of coffee and six cans of sardines in olive oil from the shelves and put them in a black shopping bag.

Unknown to Saldivar, a shop staff saw her and when she left without paying for the goods, the staff stopped her outside the supermarket and inspected her bag.

The theft was reported to the police and Saldivar was arrested. The officers discovered she had a Hong Kong ID but came in as a visitor and allowed to stay only until Aug 29, 2016. They also found more than $4,000 cash in her wallet.

The prosecution said the woman had a previous theft conviction in 2014. She was jailed and eventually sent home. Before that, she had worked as a domestic helper for 19 years.

In mitigation, her counsel from the duty lawyer service said Saldivar was supporting a sick sister in the Philippines and stole from the shop because she had no work but did not want to go home because of a threat to her life.

When Magistrate So Wai-tak asked why she overstayed, Saldivar said it was unsafe for her to go home because her brother was threatening to kill her.

So sentenced her to seven days in jail for each of the offences, to be served consecutively. - VBL

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