Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

Filipina cleared of handling $4.8million worth of stolen goods

10 January 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Biala hides her face outiside District Court after an earlier hearing 

A Filipina domestic worker walked free from the District Court today, Jan 10, after prosecutors withdrew a charge of handling stolen goods against her.

Marina Galay Biala, 49, was accused of keeping $4.81 million worth of jewelry that her younger sister, Carmelita D. Nones, also a domestic worker, had entrusted to her, knowing or believing the same to be stolen goods. The jewelry was part of a $14.6 million loot that Nones subsequently admitted to stealing from her employers.

Biala pleaded not guilty to the charge on Jun 24 last year, and at a subsequent hearing on Oct 7, Judge Anthony Kwok Wai-kin scheduled a two-day trial starting today.


But after the prosecutor informed the court that the charge was being withdrawn, the judge ordered the accused to be released immediately.

Barrister Frederic C. Whitehouse, who represented Biala through Legal Aid, told The SUN the defendant was very relieved to have been set free, and was looking forward to returning to work.

Whitehouse said Biala had spent eight months in custody before being allowed bail of $10,000 cash and $10,000 surety which her very supportive employer had posted for her.


He said the prosecution withdrew the case because there was not enough evidence to prove dishonest intent on Biala’s part, or that she even knew what the bag that her sister had entrusted to her, contained.

Nones was picked up on Sept 4, 2019 after police officers doing random checks on pawnshops found a couple of expensive jewelry items that she had pawned.

She was subsequently charged with stealing more than 200 items of jewelry and gold nuggets worth $14.6 million from her employers, David Liang and wife Helen Frances Liang, between May 2018 nd September 2019.

Biala's sister, Nones, was sentenced to 4 years, 11 months for the $14.6m theft

Nones pleaded guilty to the charges and on Sept. 7 last year, was sentenced at the High Court to four years and 11 months in jail.

Press for details

Her niece, Maricris G. Nones and cousin Cristina G. Alagna who helped pawn the stolen jewelry, also pleaded guilty to four and six counts, respectively, of handling stolen goods, and were each jailed one year and four months.

Some of the jewelry pieces that Nones took was kept in a bag that she entrusted to Biala on an unknown day between July and September 2019. A day after her arrest, Biala was escorted by her employer to the Liangs’ house in Deepwater Bay to turn over the bag.


Inside were 18 necklaces, five bracelets, five bangles, 17 pairs of earrings, four other earrings, one brooch, two pendants, 10 necklaces with pendants, seven rings, four watches, one key chain, one gold coin and three charms, worth a total of $4.81 million, all belonging to Mrs Liang.

Some of the pricey jewelry items Nones admitted to stealing

Four red packets were also found inside, but the $4,000 cash that they should have contained was missing.

A few days later, Biala was also arrested. When she appeared in court on Jun 24, she said she never looked inside the bag and was thus not aware of what it held.

Don't Miss