Maid gets jail for stealing jewellery worth over $16,200 and cash from employer
A migrant domestic worker stole 20 pieces of gold jewellery worth more than $16,200 and £900 (S$1,602 at the time) in cash from her employer between January and February 2022.
She met a male acquaintance at Eunos MRT station in March to pass him the jewellery to sell for cash. However, he became uncontactable and did not return the jewellery, which included gold bridal necklaces and bracelets.
She asked another person to transfer $650 to her family in Indonesia and kept the rest for herself.
On Wednesday, Ria Dwi Astuti, 35, was sentenced to jail for six months and two weeks after pleading guilty to stealing her employer's property while living under her roof. Her sentence will be backdated to the date of arrest.
The court heard the Indonesian maid started working for her employer, Ms Gindo Kaur, 65, in January 2021.
She was tasked with general household chores, preparing meals and buying groceries. To carry out these tasks, she was granted free access to the three bedrooms in the Housing Board flat.
On Aug 21, Ms Kaur discovered the jewellery she had stored in a wardrobe in the master bedroom was missing. She made a police report after confronting Ria, who admitted to stealing the items. Ria was arrested on the same day.
The value of the stolen jewellery amounted to $16,207.
Another 24 pieces of jewellery with an estimated value of $15,695 was reported missing by Ms Kaur. She had stored these pieces in the same drawer as the stolen items.
However, there was no receipt to ascertain the value of the 24 pieces, said State Prosecuting Officer (SPO) Lim Yeow Leong.
Asking for a jail sentence of between seven and nine months, SPO Lim said: "(Ria) abused the trust in her as a domestic helper. The loss is significant as no item was recovered."
Ria, who represented herself in court via video link while in remand, asked if she could go back to Indonesia as soon as possible to take care of her mother and child.
She also said through a court interpreter that she had apologised to Ms Kaur and hopes she will accept it.
During sentencing, District Judge Janet Wang said Ria had accrued personal gain and did not make restitution. However, she noted that to Ria's credit, she had pleaded guilty.
In February, another maid was jailed for a year and two weeks after she stole $30,000 worth of luxury bags and jewellery from her employer.
Those who steal from an employer in the capacity of a clerk or servant can be jailed for up to seven years and fined.