SHANGHAI WAITER GOT THREE YEARS FOR STEALING 12 BOTTLES OF DRC AND LATOUR
By David Ma
A district court in Shanghai recently sentenced a 20-year old trainee waiter three years suspended imprisonment for stealing 11 bottles of Romanee-Conti and one bottle of Chateau Latour worth RMB890,000 from the cellar of the hotel he worked for.
The five-star hotel situates in the up-market Jingan District of Shanghai. The young waiter arrived from an inland province and landed on a trainee waiter role with the hotel.
It was said that the waiter was tight in money when he first arrived. He soon found out a loophole in the security to the wine cellar and set his eyes on the luxurious bottles stored inside.
He stole a total of 11 bottles of Romanee-Conti and one bottle of Chateau Latour and replaced them with fake wines he bought on-line.
The court heard that he consumed the bottle of Chateau Latour and found buyers for the 11 bottles of Romanee-Conti on the internet. He asked for buyers to meet in hotel car park to avoid security clearance.
He was said to have splurged the RMB510,000 proceeds in a month’s time.
The waiter's dubious act was uncovered by the beverage manager during an inventory check when the fake bottles were spotted. A review of CCTV footages revealed that the trainee waiter was the culprit and he wasted no time to admit to the crime.
Chinese media reports said the waiter’s father had paid the five-star hotel RMB 1 million in compensation.
He was reported to have sold land in his home town and borrowed from relatives and friends to secure the sum in exchange for forgiveness that led to the suspended term passed down to his son.
(the writer can be contacted at: DavidMa@thewinechronicle.com)
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