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Woman sentenced for stealing P8 million worth of luxury items from her best friend and replacing it with knockoffs

By Melanie Uson Published Feb 17, 2023 6:35 pm

A woman in China has been sentenced for stealing one million yuan (almost P8 million) worth of luxury items from her long-time best friend and replacing it with fake ones.

According to a South China Morning Post report, the woman surnamed Liu was sentenced to 12 years in prison for stealing from her friend, surnamed Cao, who trusted her to look after her house in Jilin, China. 

Cao and Liu have been best friends for years to the point that they could “talk about everything,” but this changed drastically when Cao asked Liu to look after her newly-bought house in Changchun, capital of Jilin, in 2019.

Thinking that they both have built a "solid" friendship, Cao did not hesitate to entrust her property to Liu, despite leaving in there a million-yuan worth of luxury items. 

On the other hand, Liu was reported to suffer from financial difficulties in the same year.The access to her best friend’s house prompted her to steal almost 20 luxury items from her, with most of them being brand new. This includes high-end brands Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Bulgari, among others. 

To cover up her crime, Liu replaced these items with high-quality replicas she bought online. This lasted for three years until Cao’s discovery in 2022. 

Though unclear how Cao realized that her items were replaced with fake ones, she proceeded to report it to authorities. 

For a long time in the investigation process, Cao did not think that Liu would be a culprit, but investigators thought otherwise. Liu did not also bother to come clean and kept acting clueless in the investigation in the first place. 

Apart from losing her her best friend, Liu was sentenced to a maximum term of 12 years in prison, significantly when she misled the police investigation. 

According to Chinese law, a theft exceeding 300,000 yuan amount (P2 million) is punishable by more than 10 years of imprisonment.