Channel NewsAsia

Maid stole thousands from employer’s drawer

Domestic worker sentenced to 12 months in jail for pinching more than S$24,000 over a year.

SINGAPORE: After spotting where her employer kept the key to a locked drawer full of cash, she managed to pinch more than S$24,000 from it over a year.

On Monday (Aug 4), the State Courts sentenced Ariani, a 29-year-old Indonesian domestic worker, to 12 months in jail. She had faced 26 charges, but the prosecution proceeded with 11 of them.

Ariani had been working for Ms Tan Ee Mui, 53, since 2011 and her offences came to light on July 5 this year after Ms Tan realised that about US$4,000 (S$4,980) to US$5,000 had gone missing from the drawer. It was then that Ariani broke down and confessed to the theft.

Some time in January, Ariani saw that Ms Tan, who lives in a condominium on Sunset Way, regularly stored cash in a locked drawer in her bedroom and kept the key in a handbag.

The key was always left behind whenever Ms Tan left the house. Soon, Ariani began stealing out of greed.

Court documents revealed that between last April and May this year, Ariani would take the key and unlock the drawer where Ms Tan kept her money. Each time, Ariani would take more than S$1,000 from the drawer and remit the amount to Indonesia through Pay2Home Remittance Agency.

On one occasion, Ariani took US$3,200 from the drawer and remitted the amount to Indonesia over a few times in May.

Investigations also revealed that Ariani had kept an account with the agency, which detailed the amounts and dates of remittances by her.

None of the stolen money was recovered as it had been remitted to Indonesia. Ariani stole a total of S$24,109.68 from Ms Tan and no restitution was made.

Deputy public prosecutor Rachel Ng on Monday pressed for a jail term of nine to 12 months, citing that Ariani had continually stole from her employer over a year.

Ariani, who appeared expressionless in court, said through a translator that she was very sorry for her offences. She could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.