An Indonesian domestic helper is said to have been arrested recently after she received a package from overseas containing HK$1 million worth of cocaine, which was delivered to her at her employer’s home, Apple Daily reports.
A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department declined to comment on the case, but the report said it is still investigating the case and that the maid has denied any knowledge of the content of the package.
A senior customs official called on foreign domestic helpers and their employers not to take any package of unknown origin to avoid getting into any legal trouble.
The case caught the public’s attention after a WhatsApp message that was posted on a Facebook account last week warned foreign maids against falling prey to a scheme by a drug cartel using maids as unwitting channels for its illegal trade.
According to the post, which was uploaded by a person who claimed to have a friend working at the customs department, a South Asian man befriended the maid and asked her to use her employer’s home address to receive a package for him.
When the first delivery came, the maid refused to receive the package that was sent to her at her employer’s address.
But when another delivery came, she received it and was immediately arrested by customs officers who had been closely monitoring the case.
The package, which was shipped from Brazil, contained 870 grams of cocaine, the post said.
It also quoted a lawyer as saying that the maid could face 20 to 23 years imprisonment if convicted.
Apprised of the case, Teresa Liu, managing director of Technic Employment Service Centre, advised employers to ask their domestic helpers not to disclose their home address to outsiders under any circumstances or to receive packages on behalf of other people.
Employers should also not allow a domestic helper to have access to the mail box, Liu said.
Online newspaper Bastille Post reported that the customs department has busted several cases in which packages from South America were sent to domestic helpers’ work places, including one in which a maid was arrested at her employer’s home in Tsim Sha Tsui on July 26.
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