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Filipina maid admits stealing $543k worth of jewelry from employer of 11 years

11 August 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Among the items Tagulao stole from her employer was a Piaget necklace worth $250k (for illustration only)

A Filipina domestic helper has admitted stealing assorted jewelry pieces worth a total of $543,000 from her female employer for whom she had worked for 11 years.

Marie Tagulao, 41, pleaded guilty to 11 charges of theft before Magistrate Bina Chainrai in Eastern Court today, Aug 11. She said she pawned the stolen items so she could have money for the repair of her typhoon-damaged home.


The magistrate set the sentencing in her court on Aug. 25, despite a request from the prosecution that the case be moved to a higher court due to the large value of the loot.

The government lawyer said theft cases involving $250,000 to $1 million call for a 3-year sentence, which could only be imposed by a higher court, but the magistrate declined the request.

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A police report shows Tagulao stole 11 pieces of expensive jewelry belonging to Yuen Lai-ka in the employer’s house on Big Wave Bay Rd, Shek O, over a period spanning a year and a half, between Jan 1, 2019 to Jun 9 this year.

She managed to pawn the stolen items in five pawnshops before she was arrested.
The stolen jewelry items were: one Piaget necklace worth $250,000; one diamond brooch valued at $20,000; a pair of pearl earrings worth $30,000; a pair of diamond earrings valued at $60,000; one sapphire necklace worth $10,000; one Bulgari necklace valued at $10,000; a pair of rose pattern earrings worth $3,000; one necklace with a diamond cross pendant worth $3,000; a pair of diamond and pearl earrings valued at $4,000; one 18-karat gold necklace worth $3,000, and one black watch worth $150,000.    



The prosecutor said the Bulgari necklace, the necklace with a diamond cross pendant, the gold necklace and the watch were recovered from the pawnshops, but the rest of the items were gone.

The defense lawyer, begging for leniency, said Tagulao apologized for the offense, explaining that her family’s house and farm were damaged during a typhoon and needed to be repaired.

Magistrate Chainrai asked for a background report and ordered Tagulao remanded in custody before her sentencing.

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