Maid jailed for stealing luxury watches, cash from employer

A domestic worker stole two luxury watches worth $95,000 from her employer last September, and handed them to another maid who was returning home.
A domestic worker stole two luxury watches worth $95,000 from her employer last September, and handed them to another maid who was returning home.PHOTO: ST FILE

A domestic worker stole two luxury watches worth $95,000 from her employer last September, and handed them to another maid who was returning home.

Indonesian Muinah asked her compatriot, Dewi, to hand the two watches - a $60,000 Franck Muller watch and a $35,000 Van Cleef & Arpels watch - to her mother back in her home town.

In all, she stole cash and property worth more than $160,000 from her employer, and was sentenced to 18 months' jail yesterday.

Muinah, 35, admitted to three of five charges. Two were for theft as a servant and the other for removing the watches she had stolen from the jurisdiction of Singapore.

A district court heard that Muinah had been working for Ms Esther Minah Mohamed Shah, 33, since May 2013.

When her employer moved from her home in Bishan to a rented house in Nim Road last September, she asked Muinah to help her pack all her jewellery in a luggage bag.

Muinah was packing the luggage bag when she stole the two watches and hid them inside a kitchen cabinet. She subsequently handed the watches to Dewi.

Between Oct 1 last year and May 9 this year, Muinah stole cash and jewellery totalling $65,157 while cleaning the house in Nim Road.

After stealing the items, she would hide them inside her personal bag, and then underneath the refrigerator outside the storeroom of the house.

On May 9, Ms Minah made a check and found local and foreign currencies as well as some pieces of jewellery under the refrigerator. She then lodged a police report.

After realising that the maid had also stolen the two watches, Ms Minah's husband flew to Indonesia and managed to get them back from the maid's mother.

District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim backdated Muinah's sentence to May 11. The maximum penalty for theft as a servant is seven years' jail and a fine.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2015, with the headline 'Maid jailed for stealing luxury watches, cash from employer'. Print Edition | Subscribe