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Maid jailed for stealing S$12,000 in jewellery, cash from employer over 5 years till debt collectors came

SINGAPORE — After pilfering and pawning numerous pieces of jewellery from her employer, a domestic worker’s offences came to light when debt collectors turned up at the flat to serve a letter of demand on her.

Foreign domestic worker Halimah's offences came to light when debt collectors turned up at her employer's flat.

Foreign domestic worker Halimah's offences came to light when debt collectors turned up at her employer's flat.

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SINGAPORE — After pilfering and pawning numerous pieces of jewellery from her employer, a domestic worker’s offences came to light when debt collectors turned up at the flat to serve a letter of demand on her.

Indonesian national Halimah, who goes by one name, was sentenced to 16 weeks’ jail on Friday (March 25) after pleading guilty to two counts of theft as a servant.

Three other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Halimah, now aged 43, began working for her 41-year-old employer in October 2015. She did household chores, prepared meals for the family and took care of her employer’s one-year-old son.

Court documents showed that from 2017 to 2021, she stole multiple pieces of jade and gold jewellery worth a total of about S$12,000.

In 2017, she took two jade bangles valued at S$1,800 each, gold coins and cash amounting to S$300 from her employer’s bedroom wardrobe. In 2021, she took several more pieces of jewellery with a total value of S$3,860.

She pawned all the items at pawnshops.

On Jan 5 this year, two debt collectors went over to the flat at Jurong East Street 32 and served a letter of demand on Halimah for defaulting on instalments over loans secured by the pawning. When her employer grew suspicious and questioned her, she confessed to her actions.

Her employer lodged a police report the next day.

The police managed to recover the jewellery she had stolen in 2021 from pawnshops, but could not recover the other items. She has not made restitution.

When asked what she had to say in mitigation, she told a district court through an interpreter that she was sorry and pleaded for a lighter sentence.

Those convicted of theft in the capacity of a servant or clerk can be jailed for up to seven years and fined.

Related topics

court crime steal theft domestic worker maid

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