Filipino domestic helper and infant successfully escape kidnapping, perpetrator sentenced to 9 years and 4 months


15th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) In an incident that occurred three years ago, a kidnapping case in Pok Fu Lam has finally reached its conclusion. Two male kidnappers were found guilty of abducting a Filipino domestic helper and her 20-month-old infant, holding them captive in an abandoned shipping container in Pat Heung. During their captivity, the perpetrators coerced the helper to provide information about her employer, promising her a 5% cut of the ransom and making references to a staggering sum of HK$200 million. However, the brave domestic helper refused to cooperate, stating that her employer was not wealthy. Seizing an opportunity, she managed to break free and attempted to seek help. Unfortunately, one of the kidnappers intercepted her, leading to a struggle in which she successfully pushed him away and escaped with her infant.

The captured kidnapper, identified as Ho Lin-chun, pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping during his trial at the High Court today. The presiding judge commended the domestic helper for her courage and revealed that the kidnappers had meticulously planned the crime. Ho Lin-chun, a 45-year-old unemployed individual, claimed through his defence attorney that he initially believed he was assisting in a debt collection, not realising the gravity of the situation until later. He expressed remorse for his actions, acknowledging the shame he felt.

During the sentencing, the judge emphasised the vulnerability of the 20-month-old infant who had been bound during the ordeal. The domestic helper, who had been gagged with duct tape, displayed immense bravery by not only freeing herself but also engaging in physical confrontation with the perpetrators. The judge further noted that the kidnappers had premeditated the crime, evidenced by their purchase of restraints three days prior and their use of a borrowed vehicle with altered licence plates to avoid detection.

The incident unfolded on the morning of 8th December, 2021, while the domestic helper was pushing the infant in a stroller on her way to a pre-school. As they walked along Victoria Road in Pok Fu Lam, they were suddenly abducted by the defendants, who forcibly placed them into a van. The helper’s hands and feet were bound with cable ties, and she was blindfolded. The kidnappers then loaded the stroller onto the vehicle.

During the journey, one of the accomplices questioned the helper about her employer’s name and contact details. In response, she revealed that her employer was not wealthy. The accomplice proposed a collaboration, offering her a percentage of the ransom as a reward. Although the kidnappers did not explicitly state the required amount for the ransom, they mentioned a figure of HK$200 million.

The defendants took the helper and the infant to a deserted shipping container in Tai Wo Village in Pat Heung, where they changed into pre-prepared clothing before both were bound again. The perpetrators left the scene but returned shortly afterwards to take them back into the van. They were then transported to the abandoned container in Pat Heung, where they were abandoned by the kidnappers.

After managing to free herself, the domestic helper escaped with the infant and climbed on top of the shipping container, seeking help. The assailant who had returned attempted to climb up as well but was thwarted when the helper pushed him to the ground. The commotion alerted nearby villagers, causing the perpetrator to flee the scene. He was subsequently apprehended on the 9th of the same month and remained silent during police questioning.

The defendant, Ho Lin-chun was subsequently sentenced to 9 years and 4 months in prison. The judge’s decision reflects the severity of the crime committed against the domestic helper and her infant, while also recognizing the exceptional bravery demonstrated by the victim in their successful escape from a terrifying ordeal.