3 Filipino domestic helpers get jail terms for HK$14M jewelry heist in Hong Kong

Published September 7, 2021, 2:43 PM

by Jaleen Ramos

A Filipino domestic helper in Hong Kong was sentenced on Tuesday, Sept. 7, to four years and 11 months in prison after stealing valuables worth over HK$14 million from her employers.

Her accomplices, who happen to be her relatives, identified as Maricris Galay Nones, 32, and Cristina Noble Alagna, 51, each received a one year and four months jail sentence.

In a report from The Standard HK, Deputy High Court Judge Bruce Andrew said Carmelita Galay Nones, 47, breached people’s trust and betrayed her employer.

The judge also acknowledged the fact that Nones stole the money to help pay for her mother’s medical expenses.

Andrew added there was also evidence to prove that her mother got sick and later died.

“It was taken into consideration for her final sentence, as well as the fact that she pleaded guilty,” the report added.

Nones’ two relatives also helped the police retrieve the stolen items so they can be returned to their owners.

Nones took jewelery, watches, and gold bars from her employers, David and Helen Frances Liang, according to a report from the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

The stolen items included 68 earrings, 40 necklaces, 25 rings, and 37 bracelets and bangles, as well as pieces made by Chanel worth HK$120,000.

Carmelita pawned the stolen items with the assistance of her niece Maricris and cousin Cristina who are also domestic helpers.

Between June 17, 2018 and July 27, 2019, Carmelita had pawned at least HK$6 million worth of necklaces, bangles, bracelets, earrings, rings, gold bars and coins for HK$688,850 that she took from Liang’s residence in Deep Water Bay, the SCMP reported.

The Hong Kong police said it noticed Carmelita’s transaction history after carrying its regular inspection of pawnshop records in July 2019.

The victims had to pay over HK$1.45 million to recover only part of the stolen items.