(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)
People trafficker given 8 years
A woman who trafficked 24 Filipino maids into China has been sentenced to eight years behind bars at Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court.
Liu ran a domestic helper agency and found it was lucrative to import Filipino maids, hailed as the best in the industry, to China, where the need for qualified domestic helpers is increasing.
She contacted two people in the Philippines and formed a people-smuggling network.
Between February and September 2017, they trafficked 24 maids from the Philippines to coastal cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Qingdao, on tourist visas.
When they arrived China, Liu picked them up and took them to in inland cities such as Beijing, Chengdu and Xi’an.
Employers said they contacted Liu via friends or ads posted on the Internet. Liu had a catalogue for them to choose from and she brought the maids right to the doorstep. They paid her a commission equal to several months of the maid’s salary.
According to the maids, their monthly income was 6,000 yuan (US$870), but for the first six or seven months, they made 2,000 yuan per month with the rest going into Liu’s pocket.
By charging commissions from both sides, Liu was able to earned 1.2 million yuan in only seven months.
According to the court, Liu cooperated with others to violate immigration rules. As she admitted her guilt, she was granted a lighter sentence. Besides eight years in prison, she was fined 200,000 yuan.
The court said it is risky to recruit illegal maids.
Employers can be fined up to 100,000 yuan and if they have disputes with foreign workers they will find it hard to defend their rights.
According to a report by Labor Daily, Filipino maids are highly-prized for their professionalism and there are about 7 million working around the world. In China, due to lack of standards and training, local domestic helpers cannot provide consistent, qualified service.
The newspaper said there are an estimated 200,000 illegal Filipino maids in China’s mainland where the pay is almost twice that they receive in Hong Kong.
Foreign domestic helpers were entirely banned in Shanghai until July 2015, when high-level foreign professionals living and working in the city were allowed to hire them, but such cases are few so far, according to Shanghai police.