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Filipina DH caught in sting job jailed 4 weeks for theft

30 March 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

A Filipina domestic helper who couldn’t resist dipping into the bag of her employer’s mother and taking away $220 found herself in bigger trouble when it emerged she had been set up so she would admit to having stolen a larger amount earlier.

L. Cordero, 31 years old, was sentenced for a total of four weeks in jail at Eastern Magistracy earlier today after pleading guilty to stealing the $220 and about $3,350 in various currencies, as well as a Haagen-Dasz gift card, belonging to her employer.

The first theft happened happened between Jan 8 and 10 in the employer’s house at Pokfulam Terrace.

The defendant took away bills including 150 euros, 20 Japanese yen, US$20, 400RMB, 200 New Taiwan Dollar and 21,000 Korean won; as well as the ice cream gift card from inside a cabinet in the employer’s room.


The employer did not confront Cordero but told family members about the missing money.

Yesterday, the employer’s mother decided to take matters into her hand when visiting her daughter’s house. She put marked money in her wallet and deliberately left her bag with the wallet out in the open while pretending to go someplace else.

Little did Cordero know that apart from the marked bills, a CCTV had been set up to catch her in the act of taking the money from the elderly woman’s purse.


The police were called at about 1:40pm and they found the missing marked money in a cabinet inside the helper’s room.

At the police station, Cordero readily admitted the offences, and said she was forced to steal because she needed money.

In mitigation, her lawyer asked for a suspended sentence, citing Cordero’s clear record, guilty plea, and remorse for what she had done. 


The lawyer said the helper first came to Hong Kong in March 2020 and was apparently terminated, but was able to secure a new work visa with her latest employer on Mar 8, 2021. 

Despite being paid $5,000 a month, Cordero was said to be hard up as she sent all her salary to her family back home, where she was supporting her three young children as well as two younger siblings. Her husband worked as a driver, earning the equivalent of $1,500 a month.

The lawyer said the defendant was tempted to steal because of her financial difficulty and was likely to lose  her job as a result of the case.

In sentencing, magistrate Jacky Ip started off with a six-week sentence on the first case, but after giving a discount for the defendant’s guilty plea, reduced it to four weeks. For the second offence, the sentence was two days, to be served concurrently with the first sentence.

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He also ordered all the stolen property to be returned to the owners.

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