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Filipina to face trial after denying $100k ring theft charge

23 October 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The luxury estate where the alleged theft reportedly happened

A Filipina domestic helper accused of stealing her employer’s $100,000 tourmaline ring pleaded not guilty to the charge in Eastern Court today, Oct 23, setting the stage for a one-day trial in December.

Magistrate Bina Chainrai ordered the charge read again to L.V. Narcelles, 36, and asked the Filipina to enter a plea.

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“Not guilty,” the maid replied.

The prosecution said it would present two witnesses in the trial, as well as a 10-minute CCTV footage of the search of the defendant’s belongings.

The duty lawyer representing Narcelles said there would be no defense witnesses.

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Chainrai set the hearing for Dec 23 and remanded the defendant in custody.

Narcelles was arrested on Sept 9 after her employer, Chua Eh-fong, accused the maid of stealing the ring between Aug 27 and Sept 9 in her house in Regalia Bay, Stanley.

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Chua reported the alleged theft on Sept 9 after she could not find the ring where she last placed it on Aug 27.

The prosecution said the ring was recovered during a police search of the defendant’s belongings when it fell out of an envelope retrieved in her suitcase.

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In her bail review hearing on Sept 16, the defendant’s lawyer said a friend would put up a $5,000 bail for her temporary liberty, but the friend did not show up.

Today’s hearing was attended by Narcelles’ former employer, who said she wanted to help the maid because she believed she was innocent.

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“I hope she gets a fair trial,” the employer said. She later went to the court’s general office to apply as character witness for Narcelles.

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