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Showing posts with label featured. Show all posts
Showing posts with label featured. Show all posts

Another DH jailed 8 months for money laundering

Posted on 01 March 2024 No comments

 

Another domestic helper was jailed for eight months Thursday after she pleaded guilty at Eastern Court to dealing with proceeds of a crime, because her bank account had been used for money laundering.

Nerivy Toledo, 35 years old, made the plea at Eastern Court after listening to the charge.

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Principal Magistrate Ivy Chui chose a 12-month starting point for Toledo’s sentence and gave her a four-month discount for her guilty plea            

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Toledo was charged with “dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of indictable offense.”

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Under the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, this offense is punishable by a fine of $5,000,000 and imprisonment for 14 years on conviction upon indictment, or a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for 3 years on summary conviction.

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The case arose from deposits that amounted to $577,933 in her bank account and corresponding withdrawals between July 11, 2019 and July 29, 2019.

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Trial set for accused in indecent assault of girl, 10

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The trial will be held at the District Court in Wanchai

Four Filipinos and one Bangladeshi accused of indecently assaulting and hurting a 10-year-old girl in Yuen Long were returned to jail yesterday to await trial at the District Court which will start on March 17 next year.

Jimwoel Macaraig, 53 years old; Julie Arcega, 32; Gina Villanueva, 51; Benjur Macaraig, 46; and MD Moazzim-hossain, 42, were arrested after the incident which allegedly happened inside a hut on Kung Om Road in Yuen Long on Jan. 3, 2023.

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Judge Pang Chung Ping adjourned Thursday's hearing to February 17 next year for pre-trial review.

The two-week trial will be held from March 17 to April 3 next year.

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The five, who were neighbors of the victim's family in Yuen Long, are accused of committing “an act of gross indecency with or toward X, a girl of the age of 10 years” in a hut in Yuen Long.

An “indecent act towards a child under 16 years” is punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years under the Crimes Ordinance.

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In the second charge, common assault, the five are accused of assaulting the girl on the same date and place.

The offense is punishable with up to a year in prison under the Offenses Against the Person Ordinance.

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Bed bugs found at NAIA

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Chairs at NAIA are disinfected after bed bug bites were reported by passengers

Disinfection was carried out at Terminals 2 and 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport yesterday, after departing passengers reported being bitten by bed bugs there.

The passengers posted photos of their buttocks and thighs filled with red rashes from the bites on the Facebook group DIY Travel Philippines, and told fellow travellers to take care.

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One complainant said she was bitten after she sat on a rattan chair at Terminal 2 on Feb. 23.

However, videos uploaded yesterday by some media outlets showed the tiny bugs swarming on the metal chairs at the terminals as well.

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The Manila International Airport Authority which manages NAIA’s three terminals admitted receiving complaints about the bed bug infestation, and said it provided medical treatment to those affected.

In a statement, MIAA also said all the seats identified in the reports had been pulled out permanently while disinfection at the airport will continue to be undertaken.

One of the bitten passengers posted photos of her backside, along with a warning

“The MIAA apologizes to the victims and assures them that a speedy resolution to this can be expected,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, MIAA General Manager Eric Ines directed the terminal managers to investigate the infestation, and provide a report with recommendations on how to resolve the issue.

The managers were also told to conduct thorough facility inspections and enhance sanitation at the terminals.

PINDUTIN DITO

\Manila’s airport is not the only one grappling with bed bug scare. Last November, Hong Kong authorities were alerted to an online photo that showed what appeared to be a bedbug on an Airport Express train.

The bedbug photo prompted immediate deep cleaning of the airport train in question

The MTR Corporation immediately carried out deep cleaning of the train after receiving a report from a passenger, but said no insects similar to the one in the photo was found.

Bedbug problems at airports have previously been reported in Seoul, Paris and London, sparking concerns that they could reach Hong Kong, too.

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Job-hopping legislation still in the cards

Posted on 29 February 2024 No comments

 

The revised Code will have anti-job hopping provisions

A revised Code of Practice (CoP) for employment agencies that will incorporate provisions related to the so-called job hopping practice of some foreign domestic helpers will come into force by April this year.

This was according to Labour Secretary Chris Sun who spoke at the Legislative Council meeting yesterday, Feb. 28 in response to queries from legislator Doreen Kong of  the Election Committee constituency.

“After concluding the consultation exercise on the preliminary proposals for revising the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies (CoP) in the first half of 2023, the LD has analysed and examined the feedback received,” he said.

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“Currently, the LD is finalising the revised content of the CoP taking into account the suggestions and concerns raised by different stakeholders, as well as formulating the mechanism for enforcing the revised CoP. The LD will promulgate the revised CoP in the second quarter of this year."

Sun said that the new rules will require EAs to request employers and FDHs to acknowledge in writing that they have been briefed on the standard employment contract for FDHs and the Labour Ordinance.

Agencies must also explain to FDHs the requirements for changing employers, and get them to sign a written acknowledgment that this has been done.

TAWAG NA!

However, audio or video recordings of EAs making such explanations will not be required, contrary to proposals made by some employers and legislators.

The revised CoPs will also expressly prohibit EAs from providing incentives to FDHs to entice them to switch employers. Violators may be meted sanctions.

But Secretary Sun declined to give in to suggestions that employers be exempted from providing a return air ticket to FDHs who terminate their employment contracts.

PINDUTIN ITO

Kong has suggested that Labor strengthen its cooperation with source countries for FDHs so that “immoral EAs and FDHs” cannot obtain by deception agency fees and contract benefits such as free return air tickets.

Sun said that employers are obliged to provide their FDH with free return passage to his/her place of origin upon termination or expiry of the contract, to ensure the FDH’s smooth return to their place of origin and prevent them being stranded in HK due to a lack of travel expenses.

As for the agency fees, the revised CoP will require EAs to specify in a written agreement with employers, whether they will provide a refund or an alternative arrangement to replace FDHs who terminate their contracts. A sample service agreement with this clause will be appended to the CoP, but it will not make refund arrangements mandatory.

According to Kong, job-hopping or the premature termination of contracts to change employers has not abated, despite the short supply of FDHs in Hong Kong.

But Sun denied this, saying that there has been an 80 percent decline in the number of visa applications from FDHs that were rejected due to suspected “job-hopping” over the past two years.

In 2023, the number of visa rejections fell to 502 from the 2,833 recording during the pandemic in 2021.

Migrant support organizations like the Mission for Migrant Workers and the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body have called the job-hopping allegations a “myth,” saying FDHs will not give up on a whim jobs they had spent money on, or if their employers have been good to them.

Besides, they said all FDHs are aware that if they terminate their contract they will be sent back home within 14 days, and if they want to work in Hong Kong again they will have to apply for a new contract from their home country, at great cost.

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Warnings issued against lending/selling bank accounts & scams

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Police post warns how lending one's ATM can lead to money laundering 

The Migrant Workers Office in Hong Kong has posted a warning on its Facebook page against lending or selling bank accounts, as this often leads to money laundering.

Huwag pumayag sa pagpapahiram o pagbebenta ng bank account, iwasang gumawa ng mga krimen,” said the advisory. (Do not agree to lending or selling your bank account, avoid getting involved in crimes).\

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In cases where someone’s ATM card was lent or surrendered to another person who then used it to launder money, the account owner is oftentimes left to face a charge of “dealing with property knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe” that such property represents proceeds from a crime.

The maximum penalty for money laundering is 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $5 million.

Soriano (in suit) joins police in promoting the campaign against online scams

The warning came as the new head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section, Vice Consul George A. Soriano met with representatives of the Hong Kong Police Regional Crime Prevention Office - Hong Kong Island to discuss collaboration to intensify the campaign against deception crimes or fraud. 

The campaign aims to provide the public with information on how to avoid falling prey to deception, particularly those committed through phones or the internet.

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The police reported earlier that there has been a 42.6% increase in deception crimes in Hong Kong.

Vice Consul Soriano pledged to take an active role in encouraging Filipinos in Hong Kong to take part in the campaign.

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He also thanked the police for continually providing a safe environment for the more than 221,000 Filipinos living and working in the city.

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Asylum seeker faces 3 drug trafficking charges

Posted on 28 February 2024 No comments

 

Alleged scene of  the crime (Google Maps photo)

A Filipina asylum seeker was returned to jail after she appeared at Kowloon City Court today, charged wth three counts of drug trafficking.

Sherlita Guia, 37 years old, who is holding a recognizance form, was arrested after undercover anti-triad police officers entered into deals with her in three places within one building in Tsim Sha Tsui on July 14, 2023.

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According to police reports, Guia was tagged for the first drug trafficking charge when she dealt with police on the 2nd floor rear staircase of the Tsum Sha Tsui Mansion on Nathan Road.

The second incident happened in Room 1 of a second floor flat of the building.

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The third occurred in Room 2 of the same flat.

She was charged with violation of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance which punishes this offense with a fine of up to $500,000 and up to three years’ imprisonment on summary conviction, and a maximum fine of $5,000,000 and imprisonment for life on conviction on indictment.

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The case resumes on April 10.

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Filipina DH fined $1K for shoplifting

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The Lohas, where the offence was committed (photo from Google Maps)

Shoplifting $329.80 from a supermarket cost a Filipina domestic helper $1,000 today at Kwun Tong Court.

J.J. Galdones, 36 years old, was fined the amount after she was convicted of stealing a number of items from the Fresh Supermarket at The Lohas in Lohas Park, Tseung Kwan  last Feb. 18.

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She was charged with violating Section 9 of the Theft Ordinance for stealing two packs of pork chop, two packs of beef fillet, two packs of dimsum, one pack of cream puff, two cans of beer, and one pack of waffles.

PINDUTIN ITO

She was arrested by Tseung Kwan O Police officers who were called by the store staff after seeing the accused in their CCTV cameras in the act of stealing.

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Monthly fireworks display planned in Harbor

Posted on 27 February 2024 No comments

 

Did you miss the fireworks display last Chinese New Year?

Don’t worry, there will be one every month, and it will be a free entertainment for all – if plans by the government to help boost Hong Kong’s tourism materialize.

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Aside from the fireworks display, drone performances are expected to light up Victoria Harbor on a regular basis.

The daily multimedia light show “A Symphony of Lights”, where laser, strobe and neon lights answer each other from high up selected skyscrapers on both sides of the Harbor, will also be redesigned.

How? Pindutin ito!

The fireworks display is considered a magnet for tourists, especially from across the border.

“During the recent Lunar New Year holiday, Hong Kong welcomed a total of 1.43 million visitors, of which approximately 1.255 million were from mainland China, surpassing the numbers from 2018,” a report in the Standard said.

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All these nightly spectacles are being lined up in the upcoming government budget before the Legislative Council, which will allocate funding for different projects to different government agencies, the report said.

The nightly extravaganza is expected to be assigned to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

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The Tourism Board is also proposed to organize a number of supportive measures such as city walks and night runs, which will allow tourists to pursue in-depth travel experiences in the city, the report said.

Also envisioned in the new budget are more dining and entertainment elements along the city’s waterfront – such as food stalls and game booths on esplanades that have been expanded and lengthened over the last two years -- with the Development Bureau in charge.

 

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