A 33-year-old Indonesian domestic worker was jailed for five weeks by a Singapore court on Friday for stealing a total of S$1,775 (US$1,300) worth of cash and valuables from an unlocked drawer in her employer’s apartment in Punggol Field over the past two months.
At 11am on April 20, a maid named Noviati took 7,000 Chinese yuan (US$1,040) from a drawer in the apartment of her 35-year-old employer, surnamed Wang, that had been left open with the key in the lock, The Straits Times reported. She converted the money into S$1,300 and remitted it to her Indonesian home the following day.
According to the Chinese-language paper Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore), Noviati targeted the same drawer and stole 2,300 Thai baht (US$69) and S$50 on two occasions between May 10 and June 5.
The court heard that the maid also helped herself to 2.2 million Indonesian rupiah (US$165) and a silver necklace with an estimated value of S$100 from Wang’s apartment on May 10.
On June 5, when Wang confronted her maid regarding her lost property, Noviati was seen taking a knife from the kitchen, causing concern over the security of the employer.
In court, the defendant pleaded for leniency, explaining that her husband had been unable to work for two months because of gout attacks, and that she wished to complete her jail time quickly so as to take care of her 17-month-old daughter back home.
According to Singapore law, the maximum penalty for theft as a servant is seven years in jail, and offenders can also be fined for each charge of theft.