An Indonesian domestic worker who was facing financial difficulties back home stole cash and jewellery totalling about $9,000 from her employer.
Elviana, who goes by one name, was sentenced to 28 weeks' jail on Wednesday after admitting to stealing a pair of diamond earrings, a gold and silver choker chain and cash - $200, HK$4,300 (S$740), US$400 (S$530) and 14,000 rupees (S$290) - from Madam Varsha Gurmukhdas Nanwani alias Balani Kantu Rewachand, 62. The offence took place at her employer's Telok Kurau home in April this year.
A second charge of stealing cash totalling $4,480 on Nov 2 was considered during her sentencing.
Investigations showed that Madam Nanwani was in the master bedroom on Nov 13 when she discovered her money and jewellery missing from a locked drawer. She checked and found $9,188 worth of property stolen.
Three days later, her daughter approached Elviana about the matter. The maid subsequently admitted that she had stolen the cash and jewellery in April while cleaning the master bedroom.
She had used one of the keys she found in a drawer to open the locked drawer. She decided to take the items inside as her family was facing financial difficulties back in Indonesia.
During the investigation, she said she had flushed the jewellery down the toilet bowl. As for the stolen money, she remitted some home and bought jewellery for herself. Two gold rings, a pair of earrings and US$600 in cash were recovered by police.
Jail term in weeks for domestic worker Elviana.
Prosecution officer Sulaiman Yusof sought seven months' jail for Elviana as there was clearly an abuse of trust. He also said the offences were committed over a prolonged period. Pleading for leniency, Elviana promised not to steal again.
District Judge Kan Shuk Weng backdated her sentence to Nov 18. The maximum penalty for theft as a domestic worker is seven years' jail and a fine.