Maid jailed 7 months for taking more than $140,000 in cash and items from employer

A stack of foreign currency.
A stack of foreign currency. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 32-year-old maid from India was on Friday (June 10) jailed for seven months for taking a total of $141,389.53 in cash and items from her employer.

Rani, who goes by one name, pleaded guilty to two charges: one count of theft involving $5,200 of items as a servant and another of dishonest misappropriation of $136,189.53 in cash.

A district court heard that on May 3 this year, Rani was alone at her employer's Marine Crescent home. While she was cleaning a bedroom, she found a key placed on an altar and used it to unlock a cupboard in the room.

She found an assortment of cash and jewellery inside and took items worth $5,200: two yellow coins worth $3,200, two yellow pendants worth $700, a $100 pair of pearl earrings, a $900 pair of diamond earnings and a $300 ring.

She kept the stolen items in her own cupboard.

Later, on multiple occasions, she used the key to open the cupboard and took some cash each time. She did this to avoid raising her employer's suspicion.

The total amount of cash she misappropriated amounted to $136,189.53. The cash was in Euros, Chinese Yuan, Sri Lankan Rupees and Singapore, Australian and US dollars.

At about 5pm on May 8, Rani's employer called the police. She had checked Rani's cupboard after she found her cash and jewellery missing.

All of the employer's cash and items were recovered.

In mitigation, Rani told the court via a Hindi translator that her mother suffers from cancer and is looking after her son.

She said: "It is unfortunate that I came across the jewellery and money. I have never seen so much of money in one place.

"I got tempted to take the money so that I could send it back to my mother who is undergoing treatment for cancer. I am sorry for having committed this offence."

The maximum punishment for theft as a servant is seven years' jail and a fine, and for dishonest misappropriation of property, two years' jail and a fine.