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Two Filipino students charged with classmate in $1.4m watch robbery

04 August 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The Kowloon City magistrate denied bail to the 2 Filipino defendants
Two Hong Kong-born Filipino male students are each facing a charge of robbery in Kowloon City Court for allegedly attacking a man and snatching his watch worth more than $1 million.

Their Pakistani schoolmate has been charged with conspiracy to rob.

Defendants R.P. Bernardo, D.R. Banaag and A. Khan appeared today, Aug 4, before Magistrate Ada Yim for a bail review, but the prosecution read out in court an amended charge against the three.
The robbery took place on Granville Road in Tsimshatsui on the evening of Jul 23, according to local news reports.

The prosecutor said that on an unspecified date and place, Bernardo and Banaag robbed a man of his expensive watch worth $1.4 million.

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A South China Morning Post report said that the watch was a limited edition Richard Mille timepiece and the victim owns a watch store.

According to the prosecution, the victim had just left his shop when Bernardo attacked the victim from behind. When the victim fell to the ground, Bernardo snatched his watch. The three fled the scene before police arrived.
The prosecutor said the three defendants are schoolmates. Bernardo, a tall and chubby youth, is a Form 4 student who will be promoted to Form 5 this school year. Banaag, a shorter and leaner lad, is a Form 5 student who will be promoted to Form 6.

The lawyer for the two Filipinos said they were both born in Hong Kong and live with their parents, who are Hong Kong permanent residents.

He said they have clear records but Bernardo has an outstanding snatching case in West Kowloon Court. As for the robbery, the lawyer said no weapon was used. The lawyer said the appropriate charge should have been snatching.

Banaag has two outstanding burglary cases and the lawyer said he was hired only to serve as a lookout.
Khan has an outstanding case in Kowloon City Court for non-payment of goods and theft. His lawyer said Khan was a transport company clerk who claimed he was only paid by Bernardo to drive them to Tsimshatsui.

The lawyer representing Bernardo and Banaag said the former was offering $5,000 bail money, in addition to reporting daily to the Tung Chung police station. Banaag was offering a $6,000 bail money and was willing to report daily to the North Lantau police.                                                                                                                                                                                    

Khan’s lawyer said the youth was offering a $40,000 bail money and his uncle, who was in court, would put up a $40,000 surety.

Magistrate Yim rejected the two Filipinos’ bail application, saying they were facing very serious offenses and there is a high risk they would abscond and commit further offenses. She said they can apply for bail at the Court of First instance.

The magistrate granted Khan’s bail application, but ordered him to pay his bail money and surrender his travel documents within 24 hours, in addition to complying with all the bail conditions.

The hearing was adjourned until Sept 21 for plea. Yim ordered Bernardo and Banaag to be remanded in custody.

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