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Filipina acquitted of ring theft accused by ex-employer of being impostor

25 March 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

After being wrongly accused of theft, Narcelles is now being called an impostor 

Just when she thought her ordeal was over, a Filipina domestic helper who was acquitted of a charge of stealing her former employer’s $100,000 ring faced another accusation when she appeared at the Labour Tribunal today, Mar 25, to pursue her claim for unpaid wages.

Liverty Narcelles, 35, was accused by her socialite former employer Chua Eh-fong of being an impostor, claiming the one who faced her in court was not the same woman who had worked for her and whom she wrongly accused of theft.

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Because of the accusation, Presiding Officer W.H. Pun reset the case to Apr 12 to give Chua a chance to prove that the Filipina was not her former employee. Pun told the accuser to report to the tribunal about the police findings by Apr 1.

Signs that Chua was up to something emerged when she asked the court clerk before the start of the hearing to check the identity of the claimant.

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So, the clerk asked Narcelles to take off her mask and show her face to Chua. Then he checked the helper’s Hong Kong ID before going to the back office apparently to relay Chua’s doubt to the presiding officer.

It took about 20 minutes before Pun finally entered the courtroom and started the proceedings.


Before Pun could confirm the identities of the protagonists, Chua, speaking in English, said she wanted to say something. “The domestic helper I knew is taller than I am, unless the one who worked in my home assumed the identity of another person,” she said.

The officer asked how she could be sure the person in court that moment wasn’t her former helper. “Have you seen this lady before?” he asked Chua, who replied “No.”


Chua then said, “This woman stole something from my house previously…”, but she was cut short by Pun, who said she did not have to tell him the details.

Replying to the charge, Narcelles told the officer: “I am real and she is lying.”

Pun asked for the helper’s passport and HK ID. After examining them carefully, he returned the documents and said the hearing could not proceed until the identity issue was resolved.

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He advised Chua to make a report to the police if she was sure about her claim.

Chua was told by the police that there was no basis to her claim

Unfortunately for Narcelles, the false claim about her identity was resolved by the police within minutes after the hearing was adjourned.

Narcelles kept calm as Chua called the police and stood close, apparently to ensure the helper did not escape. When three officers arrived, they told the parties to go to the ground floor where they inspected Narcelles’ documents.

In the meantime, the Filipina called her former employer, Portia Cheung, and told her about what was going on. Cheung spoke to the officers in Cantonese over the phone.

Then the police told Chua to call her driver. When the Filipina driver came, the officers asked her if the woman who was with them was Narcelles.

“Yes, that’s her. She’s Liverty. She only dyed her hair,” the driver said.

The officers smiled and told Chua there was no issue as they let the helper go.

Narcelles is asking Polo to put Chua on its employers' watchlist

Narcelles was acquitted on Jan 28 in Eastern Court of a charge of stealing a tourmaline ring valued by Chua at $100,000. The magistrate rejected Chua’s evidence, including a spliced CCTV footage showing the helper kneeling beside her luggage holding the ring and some trinkets in her palm. 

But by then, the Filipina had already spent more than four months in prison.

The helper, who is being rehired by her previous employer, is claiming $6,000 as one month’s salary in lieu of notice, unpaid wages for eight days, plus a return air ticket. She has also asked the Philippine Overseas Labor Office to put Chua on its employers' watchlist because of her false accusation.

But Chua filed a counterclaim, saying Narcelles should have given her a month’s notice instead.


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