Jewelry thieves jailed over fake diamond swap

Local | Sophie Hui 20 Aug 2019

Two mainlanders who stole jewelry and swapped a real diamond for a fake one at a Hong Kong jewelry show were sentenced to 36 and 28 months in jail respectively.

Deputy District Court Judge Terence Wai Hon-hei handed down the sentences yesterday.

Fan Liping, 46, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft, and was jailed for 36 months, while Zhang Xiaoqi, 48, admitted to handling stolen goods and was jailed for 28 months.

The court was told that Fan and Zhang came to Hong Kong on June 21 last year and went to the jewelry fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Fan stole a US$150,000 (HK$1.17 million) red diamond pendant and swapped the diamond with a fake. She also stole other jewelry and handed all of it to Zhang.

Two days later, Zhang was stopped at the Lo Wu Control Point's departure hall.

Police found a pair of earrings, six necklaces, six pendants and four rings in his luggage.

Wai said he had to hand down deterring sentences as the offenses in this case were serious.

After looking at two similar cases in the past, Wai said imprisonment was the only suitable punishment.

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