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Pregnant overstayer borrowed $26k using expired contract, court told

08 May 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The defendant is 8 months pregnant, and could give birth in jail (file photo)

A heavily pregnant Filipina appeared in Eastern Court today, May 8, charged with fraudulently taking out a $26,000 loan last year and overstaying her domestic helper’s visa.

Mary Joyce Aquino, who is eight months pregnant, faces a charge of obtaining money by deception and breach of condition of stay.

No plea was taken and Magistrate Bina Chainrai remanded the defendant in jail until the next hearing on Jun 4.

The prosecution accused Aquino of obtaining the loan fraudulently from Prime Credit in June 2019 by presenting her old employment contract as proof of her capability to pay.

Aquino, who came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper, did not tell the lending company at the time that her contract had been terminated prematurely.

The prosecutor said she applied for an extension of stay, but was unable to find an employer. When the visa extension expired on Sept 20, 2018, she overstayed.

The date when Aquino was arrested was not mentioned.

The defense lawyer said Aquino, 28, married, has a clear record and was now eight months pregnant.

Chainrai asked where she got married and the lawyer replied it was in Hong Kong, but made no mention of her husband.

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The magistrate also chided the lawyer for saying his client had a clear record. “She’s an overstayer, isn’t she?”, said Chainrai.

The counsel applied for bail, saying Aquino could offer $2,000 bail money. But the magistrate rejected the application and ordered her remanded in custody.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

Chainrai cited the prosecution in ruling out bail, saying the defendant had no permanent abode, lacked local ties, used deception to obtain a loan, and overstayed her visa.

Pregnant domestic workers may call up PathFinders, an NGO that provides help to mothers and their babies, for assistance. Their hotline is 5500 5486, and their website is:

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