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Pinay maid jailed 4 weeks for stealing employer’s rings

18 March 2019

Nalam was sentenced in Eastern Court

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina domestic helper has been sent to jail for four weeks by a magistrate in Eastern Court for stealing two gold rings from her male employer in Mid-Levels last year.

The defendant, Johara Nalam, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft on Mar 18 before Magistrate Peter Law, and was immediately sentenced.
The rings, owned by Nalam’s employer Nicholas Victor, a British company director living in a flat on Hatton Road, Mid-Levels, were stolen separately on unknown dates in September and October last year.

Nalam pawned them for a total of $1,900 but their actual value was not mentioned in the charge sheet.
Nalam came to work in Hong Kong as a domestic helper in January 2016. She started working for Victor two years later.

The theft was discovered on Christmas Day last year, before the maid left for a holiday in the Philippines. Victor checked her luggage and found a pawnshop receipt issued by Shing Fung Pawnshop in Eurotrade Centre, Central. Feeling suspicious, he kept the receipt.
When Nalam returned from Manila, the employer took her to the pawnshop to redeem the ring for $1,140. He inspected the ring and realized it was his, so he and the helper went to the Wanchai police where he reported the theft. The maid was arrested.

Nalam admitted to police that she took the ring in October. On the evening of Jan 17, officers searched the employer’s house and found another receipt issued by Shing Fung.
An officer recovered another gold ring from Shing Fung, which Victor said was also his. He retrieved the ring for $900.

Magistrate Law asked the prosecution whether the $1,100 and $900 that the employer paid to recover the rings were their actual value. The prosecutor said she had no idea.

The defense counsel said those were the redeem values of the pawned rings.

“I’m asking because in a previous case, a stolen watch worth $1 million was pawned for just $3,000,” Law said.

During mitigation, the defense counsel said Nalam was single and that she came to Hong Kong as a domestic helper in January 2016, earning $4,210 a month.

No explanation was offered as to why she stole the rings.

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