Over ¥3 million worth of fine wine belonging to a businessman in Guangzhou has been stolen by his cleaning lady, who later sold them for ¥110,000.
The 47-year-old ayi, surnamed Li, confessed she cleaned out 80 bottles from her boss’ wine cellar without knowing how much they cost.
“I stole the wines early in the morning when no one was around,” Guangzhou Daily News reported her saying. “I took about one or two bottles each time. I didn’t know the market price of these red wines, and I earned about ¥4,000 to ¥6,500 for each bottle.”
Li’s employer, surnamed Zheng, is a fine wine collector who amassed bottles including Bordeaux First Growths from Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Latour, which he kept in wine cellars at his office. Those bottles average around ¥5,000 for current releases and soar to five figures for older vintages.
The theft happened from from last September to March this year, but Zheng only noticed the missing bottles on June 19 when he was planning to move them somewhere else.
According to him, the cellars are not locked and he has not opened them for two years because he was away on business trips.
Li took advantage of Zheng’s absence by stealing those bottles and passing them to her 26-year-old son, surnamed Deng, who then sold them to a buyer in Shenzhen for ¥110,000. The wines eventually landed in the hands of a Beijing bar owner.
In total, five people have been arrested and police have managed to recover six bottles so far. The case is still under investigation.
[Photo via Guangzhou Daily News]