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DH jailed 8 months for stealing $102k worth of employer’s jewelry and cash

14 October 2020

The Filipina lived with just her employer in the City Garden flat where the theft happened

By Vir B. Lumicao

A 40-year-old Filipina domestic helper was jailed for 8 months today, Oct 14, after pleading guilty in Eastern Court to a charge of stealing her employer’s jewelry and cash with a total value of roughly $102,000.

Aileen Rima readily admitted the offense when she appeared before Magistrate Cheang Kei-hong at noon. She had earlier admitted the theft to the victim and to investigators.

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She was accused of stealing 4 gold necklaces, 2 gold bracelets, $4,810 in local currency, 600 euros and US$9,900 from her employer, Elena Chan, between Dec 19, 2019 and Aug 5.

Chan had employed the defendant since September 2018. They were the only occupants of the flat in Block 8, City Garden, North Point.

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The prosecutor said Chan kept her gold jewelry and cash in a red cloth bag that she placed inside a brown envelope and locked in a drawer in her bedroom. She then hid the key under her clothes in her wardrobe.

On Aug 5, the employer noticed that the key was not in the right position where she hid it when she checked her wardrobe. She became suspicious and checked the jewelry and cash in the drawer, but they were gone.

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When the employer asked Rima about the missing jewelry and money, she admitted taking them but promised to return them, the prosecutor said. On Aug 9, after the maid failed to return the items, Chan called the police and Rima was arrested.

During questioning, Rima admitted the offense. She said she had spent all the cash and proceeds from pawning the jewelry.

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The prosecution said a search of her belongings yielded a pawnshop receipt for a gold necklace and pendant set valued at $15,000 that she had hocked for $5,000 at Wah Fung Pawnshop on Tin Chong St., North Point.

The rest of the stolen items were not recovered.

In mitigation, Rima’s duty lawyer said his client, a single woman, was the sole earner for her two brothers, a 68-year-old cancer patient and a jobless 60-year-old father of three.

Magistrate Keang interrupted the lawyer and said the offence was a breach of trust, and after giving a discount for the defendant’s guilty plea, imposed a sentence of 8 months in jail.

 

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