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DH who sold counterfeit goods in Central gets suspended 6-week sentence

04 August 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The Filipina was caught selling fake goods in Statue Square

A Filipina domestic helper who claimed she sold fake branded goods on her rest day to pay for the medication of her coronavirus-stricken children was meted a six-week suspended jail term today, Aug. 4, at Eastern Court.

Rizza V. Espina was tense and almost in tears as Magistrate Peter Law read his reason for sentence. But when Law gave her a concurrent two weeks in jail for selling fake goods and six weeks for breach of condition of stay, suspended for a year, her face glowed.


The 48-year-old came to Hong Kong in 2008 and was serving her second employer when she was arrested on May 30 near Statue Square in Central.

The prosecution said Customs officers staging an operation against counterfeit goods saw Espina peddling her items behind a bus stop on the sidewalk next to the Square along Des Voeux Road, Central.

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One of the officers heard her touting the merchandise for $80 and $120 each.

An undercover officer approached her at 11:52 am and pretended to buy a Louis Vuitton bag and a Nike bag. After the defendant received the payment, the officer introduced herself and arrested her.


An identity check showed Espina was a domestic helper employed by a certain Ms Wong under a visa issued by the Immigration on Sept 16, 2020.

Her selling of goods breached of her visa condition, the prosecution said. On top of this, the goods she sold were all counterfeit.


In mitigation, Espina’s duty lawyer said the Filipina sold the goods because she needed money for the treatment of her three children who were positive for Covid-19.

She obtained the items from someone who advertised for resellers on Facebook, said the lawyer, and she was paid only $10 for every item she sold.

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The magistrate said he considered Espina’s financial need because of her family’s situation, as well as the fact that she did the selling on her rest day.

But he warned her not to do it again or commit any offense during the next 12 months or she would go to jail. 

Among the 57 counterfeit items seized from Espina were bags, wallets, shoes, and watches, perfume and an umbrella. They bore tags from such luxury brands as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Coach, Adidas, Under Armour, Champion, Dior, Nike, Converse, Hermes and Rolex.


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