A 33-year-old Filipina domestic worker has told a court she did not steal money from her employer’s home in Mid-Levels on Hong Kong Island.

Defendant Ana Liezel Berbana told the Eastern Magistrates Court on Friday she knew nothing about 1,700 renminbi (US$246) that her employer Wong Man-nga had accused her of stealing, while her lawyer claimed the accusation was a set-up by the employer, sunwebhk.com reported.

Berbana said that Wong’s accusation and her arrest on December 21 last year came after she complained to Wong about having to use her own money to buy extra food for the employer’s household.

Defense lawyer Philip Ross said the employer had her renminbi notes photocopied before reporting to police that she had lost them.

He said Wong left 40 renminbi notes unattended in a handbag on her bed. She then ordered the defendant to clean the bathroom in her bedroom, which was a reversal of her standing policy of never allowing the worker to enter her room.

The defendant told the court she saw that the room was messy, so she tidied it a bit after cleaning the bathroom then went to her room to rest.

A short while later, two police officers arrived and said Wong had lost some money. The officers searched her room, bed clothes and suitcase.

After rounds of searching, officers found a white plastic bag that fell out of the pocket of a black jacket. It contained a sanitary napkin wrapped in a tissue paper but, looking closer, contained 17 100-renminbi notes.

Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan adjourned the case till Thursday for the verdict.