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Chinese tourists

Intelligence test ordered for pharmacy worker convicted of charging mainland tourist HK$50,000 for menthol drops

He and another employee await sentencing pending the reports

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 4:20pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 10:50pm

One of two pharmacy workers convicted of charging a mainland tourist HK$50,000 for two bottles of French menthol drops totalling only HK$60 was asked to undergo an intelligence test before the court could sentence him.

Tang Tsz-ho, 23, and Leung Ka-po, 21, were found guilty of one count of fraud in Kowloon City Court last month.

In the same court on Wednesday morning, deputy magistrate Leung Lai-yin said he had studied the reports from the young offender assessment panel on the two defendants.

The panel suggested seeking more reports on Tang’s psychological status and intelligence; the judge took special note of the latter test as he and Tang’s lawyer said the 23-year-old defendant appeared normal in court.

“I don’t quite understand why the panel suggested an intelligence test for him,” he said of Tang. “But I am sure there must be a reason. I should request and wait for such a report before I sentence.”

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Leung dismissed the panel’s suggestion that a probation officer’s report on Leung Ka-po be sought, saying that issuing such an order would be “impossible”.

Sentencing has been adjourned to April 26 pending more reports on the two. The pair remained in custody.

The duo worked as shop assistants at a pharmacy on Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mong Kok, where the incident took place.

The court earlier heard that in November 2015, the pair told a 63-year-old mainland woman that a bottle of Ricqles cost HK$30. After the woman agreed to buy two bottles, the two workers charged her credit card a total of HK$50,000 – 833 times the original bill of HK$60. The woman reported the matter to police.

The defence lawyer earlier argued that Tang was distracted and accidentally punched extra zeroes when charging the woman’s credit card. But the defendant later added the card machine was broken.

The claims were rejected by the magistrate, who blasted Tang for contradicting himself.

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His lawyer also told the court his client had committed the crime to please his boss and that he felt regretful and was willing to accept punishment.

The pharmacy in question has been closed.

Fraud is a serious offence in Hong Kong, carrying a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.