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Ex-FDH gets 2 months in jail for selling fake goods

27 November 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The Filipina was selling the fake goods in front of Eurotrade Centre, the building on left

A jobless Filipina who said she was paid $500 by a Pakistani man to sell fake branded garments was jailed for two months today, Nov 27, after pleading guilty in Eastern Court to selling the counterfeit goods and breaching her condition of stay.

But J.R. Tome, who had been in custody since her arrest, may be freed any time today as she has already been detained longer than her sentence.

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Magistrate Bina Chainrai ordered her jailed for two months for each of the charges, with the sentences to run concurrently.

The Filipina was arrested on Sept 13 while selling the goods at the entrance of Eurotrade bldg on 22 Des Voeux Road Central while on a visitor’s visa which was due to expire the next day.

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Tome, 40, married and a mother of four, used to work as a domestic helper but was unable to find a new employer after her last employment contract had ended, so she applied to remain in Hong Kong as a visitor.

She was arrested by officers of the Customs and Food and Environmental Hygiene Departments in Central while selling the fake shorts, T-shirts and pants.

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Initially, she was charged on Oct 29 for possessing 33 pairs of Champion brand shorts placed in a rubbish bag that was found on the pavement.

The prosecution later amended the charge to say that the shorts, along with various T-shirts all bearing high-end brands but were counterfeit, were all being offered for sale to passersby.

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An officer said he heard Tome touting “20 dollars one pants, 25 dollars one shirt” to passersby. The team pounced on her after she made two sales but she claimed she was there to buy goods from the Pakistani owner of the garments.

The prosecution also corrected information supplied earlier that the Filipina was a terminated domestic helper. The new information showed her contract finished on Aug 25 and she had a visitor visa until Sept 14.

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She said she didn’t know she could not sell goods or do business outside of her registered address while on visitor’s visa.

Appealing for leniency, Tome’s lawyer said she finished four contracts but was unable to get a new employer after the last one. She sold the goods for the Pakistani so she could send money home, as her husband was jobless. They have four children aged 2 to 9.

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Her sentencing was originally set for Dec 28, but was moved forward since she had been in custody since Sept 13.

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