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Filipina asylum-seeker jailed one year for keeping man’s ID and ATM cards

07 December 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

HKID card ng isang local na lalaki ang nakita sa pitaka ng akusado

A 44-year-old Filipina asylum-seeker was sentenced to a year in jail today, Dec 7, in West Kowloon Court after she admitted keeping in her wallet a Hong Kong identity card and a bank ATM card belonging to a local man.

The defendant, Julie E. Jabonero, pleaded guilty before Magistrate Peter Law to one count of possession of an identity card belonging to another person and one count of theft for keeping an ATM card issued by Bank of China to Tsoi Chak-ming.

Magistrate Law sentenced Jabonero to 12 months in prison for each of the charges, but ordered them to run concurrently. He said keeping someone else’s cards was a serious offense.


Jabonero readily said “guilty” after the Tagalog interpreter read the charges to her.

Court records show that the police were called to a residential block on Kam Fong St., Mong Kok, at 2:01am on Jul 12, 2019, because Jabonero was quarelling with a neighbor.

When police arrived, they arrested Jabonero for quarrelling with her neighbor and later charged her for common assault.


During a body search of the Filipina, officers found inside her wallet the Hong Kong ID card of Tsoi as well as his BOC ATM card.

The police asked Jabonero why she had the two cards in her possession, but she could not give a reasonable explanation, the prosecution said.

At the police station, she was again asked in the presence of an interpreter about the cards and she said she found them on the floor of her room, adding that someone might have left them on the night before the incident.


During their investigation, police found that the loss of the HKID and ATM cards had already been reported to the Mong Kok Police Station on Jun 22. The owner, however, could not be located.

Jabonero was arrested but was allowed to post bail, then failed to report back to the police as instructed.

She eventually surrendered to the Mong Kok Police Station, saying she did not know what was happening.

The court was told the Filipina had 3 previous convictions

The prosecutor said the defendant had three previous convictions, including the one for common assault.

In mitigation, the defense counsel said Jabonero had been jobless since 2012 and that she and her son aged two years and six months had been subsisting only on their allowance from the International Social Service.

Pindutin para sa detalye

He said the child is in the custody of the Social Welfare Department

The lawyer said his client admitted finding the HKID and ATM cards near the mailbox of the building where she lived. She reportedly said she did not intend to use them but only kept them.

Under Immigration laws, possessing a forged HKID card or one belonging to another person is a serious offence, for which offenders face a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The law requires any person who finds an identity card that does not belong to him or to a member of his family, or who after applying for a replacement HKID card, then finds the missing card, should turn over the found card to any registration office or police station.


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