Date
25 May 2017
The maid's lawyer asked for leniency from the court, saying the defendant is a single mother who was desperate for money because her daughter was ill at the time. Photo: HKEJ
The maid's lawyer asked for leniency from the court, saying the defendant is a single mother who was desperate for money because her daughter was ill at the time. Photo: HKEJ

Domestic helper pleads guilty to money laundering conspiracy

A 37-year-old domestic helper from Indonesia has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, and will be sentenced on Sept. 21.

Muniroh, who has worked in Hong Kong for nine years, admitted in a district court on Monday that she lent her bank account to a compatriot, who then allowed a loan shark ring to use it without her knowledge for money laundering and collecting high-interest debts, Headline Daily reports.

The amount involved in the illegal operations from April 2009 to November 2012 totalled HK$1.14 million, according to the prosecution.

In September last year, police launched a crackdown on the loan shark ring and arrested 60 suspects. 

Investigation showed that Muniroh and two other Indonesian maids had lent their bank accounts to the syndicate for a gain of HK$1,000 each, the court heard.

Muniroh’s lawyer said the defendant is a single mother who was desperate for money because her daughter was ill at the time, Apple Daily reported.

She decided to lend her bank account to a countryman because she was too trusting and ignorant of the risks involved as her highest educational level was only primary school, the lawyer said.

The lawyer also presented a letter from her employer pleading for leniency, praising her work performance over the years and saying she believes Muniroh committed the offense unintentionally.

The employer also promised to renew her contract after she finishes serving her sentence.

The two other maids charged with the same offense, aged 30 and 31, are set to defend themselves in court on Tuesday.

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TL/AC/CG

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