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'Victims' of $14.6M jewelry theft in talks with accused to find more of loot

18 January 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Carmelita Nones is the principal suspect in the case

Prosecutors consolidated today, Jan 18, a $14.6 million theft case in Eastern Court against a Filipina with two separate handling of stolen goods cases against her three co-accused, all domestic helpers like her.

Magistrate David Cheung approved the consolidation of the cases reached during a meeting of the prosecutor with lawyers of first defendant, Carmelita G. Nones and her niece Maricris G. Nones, friend Cristina N. Alagna and sister Marina G. Biala.

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Barrister Oliver Davies, representing Nones, applied for an adjournment of the case until Mar 8 as he said negotiations were underway among the defense, the prosecution and the victims that could lead to a recovery of more of the missing jewelry pieces.

The four defendants will be committed to the Court of First Instance after the Mar 8 hearing, the prosecution said.

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In the Dec 21 hearing, Nones offered to plead guilty to all the charges against her in exchange for the dropping of all charges against her three co-accused, her lawyer said.

After the consolidation, six of 19 charges were read out to Nones, the prime suspect in the biggest theft case in Hong Kong allegedly pulled off by a Filipino domestic helper against her employers.

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Five charges of handling stolen goods were laid against Maricris Nones, seven against Alagna and one against Biala.

In the consolidated charge sheet, the prosecution said prime suspect Nones stole about 200 jewelry pieces and gold bars from the Deepwater Bay house of former New World Development executive director David Liang and his wife Elaine during six periods.

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The prosecution charged that between June 17, 2018 and July 27, 2018, Nones stole an assortment of jewelry including eight necklaces, seven bangles, 16 pairs of earrings, 1 bracelet, a 50-gram gold bar and a 10-gram gold bar belonging to Mrs Liang.

Between Jun 27 and Aug 11, 2019, Nones was accused of taking two Piaget luxury watches valued at $100,000 each belonging to the Liang couple.

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The third charge said between Jun 12 and December 2018, Nones stole a necklace, 2 bangles, 7 pairs of earrings and 1 bracelet belonging to Mrs Liang.

A piece of jewelry said to be among those missing & recovered from a pawnshop

From Sept 4 to December 2018, Nones allegedly stole 23 necklaces, 3 bracelets, 2 bangles, a pair of earrings, 1 piece of earring, 11 pendants, 5 rings, various jewelry pieces valued at $3,000, and cash worth $4,000. The total value of the stolen belongings was $120,000, the charge said.

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Between Jun 3 2018 and Feb 11, 2019, Nones took 6 necklaces, 9 bangles, 6 rings and 4 pairs of earrings, the prosecution charged. Between May 13 and Jun 2, 2018, she allegedly stole 3 bangles, 7 bracelets, 2 pairs of earrings, 3 rings, 1 single earring and 4 other pieces of jewelry.

Maricris Nones was charged with five counts of undertaking to help handle and dispose of batches of the stolen jewelry (by pawning them) on five occasions – on June 3, 2018, Oct 16, Nov 25 and Dec 4 of the same year, as well as on Feb 18, 2019.


Alagna was charged with seven counts of handling and helping dispose of stolen property on June 3 and 15, on Aug 9, Sept 30 and Dec 23 in 2018, then on May 5 and June 2, 2019.

The fourth defendant, Biala, was charged with handling stolen property all belonging to Elaine Liang between July 31 and Sept 5, 2019.

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These were 23 necklaces, 3 bracelets, 11 pairs of earrings, 1 piece earring, 1 pendant, 5 rings, 1 necklace, $4,000 cash, with a total value of $120,000, as well as various pieces of jewelry worth $3,000.

The prosecution said in past hearings that Maricris Nones and Alagna were arrested last year after their names appeared in a police search of pawnshops for the stolen goods.

In Biala’s case, a bag containing several of the stolen jewelry pieces and cash was allegedly found in her room by the police. 

Magistrate Cheung remanded all four defendants in custody until their return to court on Mar 8. 

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