SINGAPORE: A maid was sentenced to 10 months' jail on Thursday (Sep 5) for stealing more than S$22,000 in jewellery and cash from her employers to pay off debts in her home country.
Indonesian national Pipin Ahsani Imama, 30, pleaded guilty to six counts of theft, with another 14 taken into consideration.
The court heard that Pipin worked for her employers at their house in Pavilion Park from September 2017 to July 2019, cooking and cleaning for them.
However, she started filching items from them in January 2018, beginning with 50 S$1 coins and escalating to cash in various currencies of greater amounts that year.
She started stealing precious stones and jewellery from her bosses this year, taking trinkets such as a S$2,000 gold ring, her employers' gold wedding rings worth S$1,000 each and a gold chain with a pendant worth S$2,500.
In total, Pipin stole items worth S$22,432 from her employers until they caught her in the act and confronted her.
According to her employer, the maid said she would return the money and wanted to continue working for them.
However, the next day, on Jul 1, 2019, Pipin ran away. Her employer, who was not named in court documents, called the police.
SHE NEEDED MONEY TO REPAY DEBTS IN INDONESIA
The maid had decided to steal the valuables as she needed money to repay her debts in Indonesia, State Prosecuting Officer Lam Peng Choy said.
There was no lock on the drawer of a dressing table where her female employer kept her valuables, jewellery and money.
Pipin pawned the jewellery at different pawn shops in Singapore, receiving a fraction of their worth for the precious items - for a collection of gold rings, bracelets and necklaces worth S$9,500, she received only S$745.
She was arrested on Jul 18 this year, after staying in the Geylang area for about two weeks.
The jewellery was recovered, but Pipin made no restitution to her employers or to the pawn shops.
Cash and other items worth S$4,432 in total was not recovered from the maid.
The prosecution had asked for at least 10 months' jail, saying that she had grossly abused the household's trust in her.
The maid told the court through an interpreter that she was very remorseful and pleaded for leniency.
She said she was a single mother with three young children and promised that it would be her first and last offence.
For each theft charge, Pipin could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.