Filipino maid found dead in apparent charcoal-burning suicide

January 07, 2016 12:03
The maid was found unconscious inside the bathroom of her employer's vacant flat at Earl Gardens in Kowloon City. Photo: Google Maps

A Filipino domestic helper was found dead in an apparent charcoal-burning suicide at a luxury flat in Kowloon City on Wednesday, police said.

The 36-year-old maid named Janice was found unconscious in the bathroom of her employer's unused flat at Earl Gardens on Earl Street, Ming Pao Daily reported.

She was confirmed dead at the scene by responding police officers and paramedics.

No suicide note was found, and police said there was no indication of foul play.

Investigation showed that the empty flat was not the maid's work station, although she occasionally went there to do some cleaning.

On Tuesday Janice went to the flat, but failed to come back. Her employer learned of what happened after she sent staff to Earl Gardens to look for her.

It is said that the maid had been unable to pay her debts to a financial firm, which had run up to around HK$100,000.

Leo Tang, an official of the Hong Kong Asian Domestic Workers Unions Federation, said some foreign maids are asked by recruitment intermediaries to sign a loan document to cover expenses for their training and the processing of their papers.

However, as the interest rate is very high, many of the maids fail to pay back the debt, Tang said.

He called on the government to look into the issue and monitor more closely the operations of recruitment agencies to protect the interests of domestic helpers.

EJ Insight supports efforts to help people deal with depression and related issues. Here is the 24-hour multilingual suicide prevention hotline of The Samaritans: +852 2896 0000 (or email[email protected]).

-- Contact us at [email protected]