No time to read the news this week? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Just one minute with the Localiiz news roundup and you’ll have all you need to appear up-to-the-minute and worldly-wise when out and about this weekend – well, almost.
A loan shark operation targeting Filipino domestic helpers was busted this week. The syndicate cleared $12 million in profit from March to October last year from charging a very illegal 10 percent interest rate a month, twice the legal limit. A Hong Kong couple, aged 49 and 50, and eight Filipino helpers, aged 34 to 58, were arrested in a series of raids across the city. The couple are believed to be the masterminds who hired the eight women – including their own maid – as assistants to find borrowers and expand the business.
Eight Filipino helpers, HK couple busted for loan sharking – The Standard
HK couple, 8 Filipino maids arrested over loan-shark operation – ejinsight
A union has found that top executives at 15 non-governmental organisations were paid huge cash allowances – amounting to $6 million in 2015 – on top of their very generous salaries. Over the past six months, the Social Welfare Organisation Employees Union, using annual reports of 60 social welfare organisations, investigated salaries for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The union, an affiliate of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, found that the allowances were on top of hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries for the executives of the 15 NGOs. Good to know where your donations are going.
What a Riot
Three protesters face at least five years in jail apiece after they were convicted of rioting – the first riot conviction in 17 years – for hurling glass bottles and bamboo sticks at police in the 2016 Lunar New Year – commonly known as the ‘fishball’ – riot in Mong Kok. University of Hong Kong student Hui Ka-ki (23), student Mak Tsz-hei (20), and chef Sit Tat-wing (33), were remanded in custody after their bail requests were denied. In the first riot convictions in 17 years, District Court Deputy Judge Sham Siu-man ruled all three were among the rioters, rejecting the main defence argument that they were mere bystanders.
Hundreds of taxi drivers will go on strike in Central district to protest against the Government’s “franchise taxi” scheme, which aims to bring 600 luxury cabs to the market catering for high-end customers. When they say luxury, they have a wifi and you can charge your phone. About 100 of the 500 cabs in the protest will surround government headquarters and the Legislative Council building on Friday morning, when Legco’s transport panel will start discussing the scheme, said the Hong Kong Taxi Workers’ Alliance Against Malpractice, which wants to negotiate with the Government to halt the plan.
This Week’s Drunk Idiot News
This week authorities pulled a 23-year-old man surnamed Ngai out of the waters near Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen after he was spotted by a security guard. Ngai told police he’d jumped into the sea after getting drunk with three friends on Ap Lei Chau Bridge, and that his friends had also jumped into the water, but were nowhere to be found. Fire Services Department divers and a Government Flying Services helicopter were deployed to search the area for the three missing people, but gave up at 7am after turning up empty handed. Ngai, who was taken to Queen Mary Hospital, later sobered up and told police that no one else had gone in the water with him. Moron.
The three candidates for the chief executive position had a debate. It was boring, attritional, and won’t change the outcome. I didn’t forget. So there.