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5 Filipinas detained for alleged shop thefts denied bail

10 April 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The 5 accused are said to have a string of prior convictions 

Four in a group of five Filipinas facing theft charges hugged each other and cheered in the dock at noon on Apr 9, after an Eastern Court magistrate said he would review their bail applications.

But their joy was short-lived when Magistrate Peter Law told each of them that their bail requests were refused due to previous convictions and the risk that they may re-offend or abscond.


The five, Eleanor Gagni, Liexel Retrita, Ma Consuelo Novo, Virginia Moradella and Loida Figueroa, were arrested in February for alleged shop thefts in North Point.  

Four of them, excluding Moradella, were charged in Tuen Mun Court on Feb 13. The defense lawyer said Moradella was absent at the time because she was in quarantine.


When the prosecutor asked for a three-week adjournment for legal advice, Law initially objected, saying the defendants had been in detention since February.

The prosecutor said a miscommunication with the police caused the delay in the investigation, which was completed only on Mar 31.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The defense lawyer did not object to the adjournment, saying he had not yet seen the investigator’s report and needed time to study it, as there were five defendants and five different offences.

The prosecutor said charges 1-4 occurred one after the other in North Point on Jan 3, Feb 8 and Feb 10. She said the suspects were caught on CCTV committing the offenses.

Pindutin para sa detalye

She also said Moradella and Figueroa are illegal immigrants, but the defense lawyer objected, saying Moradella is not in Hong Kong illegally. 

Gagni, the first defendant, had four previous convictions for shop theft and four other unrelated offenses, the prosecutor said.

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She said Retrita had five previous convictions, and was under a suspended sentence for three previous theft convictions when she got involved in the present case. Figueroa had three previous unrelated convictions but jumped police and immigration bail.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The prosecutor asked that the accused be held without bail because of their previous convictions, and the magistrate agreed. He remanded all of them in custody, along with  Moradella who did not apply for bail.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong 

Law also rejected the prosecution’s request for a three-week adjournment and set the next hearing for Apr 15.

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