24th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) A salesperson at the Tiffany & Co store in Pacific Place claimed that due to debts and medical treatment costs for seriously ill family member, he conspired with a mainland man to steal two diamond rings with a total weight of 16.85 carats and a market value of more than HK$23.37 million. They were later re-sold for HK$5 million. He pleaded guilty to two counts of theft earlier and was sentenced to nine years in prison by the Court of First Instance of the High Court today (24th).
The judge pointed out that although the defendant claimed to have been used by others to commit crimes, the case would not have happened without the defendant, and the defendant was also planning to commit the crime. The judge also pointed out that economic reasons were not an excuse for committing the crime, and the defendant had no mitigating factors other than a guilty plea. The defendant Chow Chin-lung (34 years old) worked as a salesman in the store involved since 2017 and resigned on 1st September, 2019. The charge alleged that between 14th July, 2019 and 11th September, 2019, the defendant and Dong Jiachen, a mainland man, stole two diamond rings belonging to Tiffany & Co. The case involved two diamond rings weighing 9.72 carats (market value of HK$14 million) and 7.13 carats (market value of HK$9.378 million), which were temporarily stored in the safe of the Pacific Place branch involved during the incident.
However, when the staff later took out the diamond ring from the safe for inspection, they found that both rings were replicas. The staff then called the police for help. After investigation, the police found that the defendant had sold the two diamond rings involved in the case to a company for HK$3 million and HK$2 million respectively in August and September of the same year.