Maid jailed for stealing $95,000 watches from employer
Her haul includes a Franck Muller watch worth $60,000
An Indonesian domestic worker was yesterday jailed for 18 months for stealing more than $160,000 worth of watches, jewellery and cash from her employer.
Muinah, 35, who goes by only one name, pleaded guilty to three charges: Two of theft as a servant and one of removing stolen property from Singapore.
Another two charges of theft and removing stolen property from jurisdiction were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The court heard that Muinah started working for her employer in a Bishan flat in May 2013.
In September last year, her employer told Muinah to keep all her jewellery in a piece of luggage as the family was moving house.
Among the jewellery was a $60,000 Franck Muller watch and a $35,000 Van Cleef & Arpels watch.
While her employer was distracted, Muinah stole the watches and hid them inside the kitchen cabinet.
She later handed them to another domestic worker known as Dewi, who was returning to Indonesia that month. In Indonesia, Dewi handed the watches to Muinah's mother.
In October last year, Muinah's employer moved to a rental house on Nim Road. While living there, Muinah stole her employer's money and jewellery on several occasions.
She would take the items, which were left around different parts of the house, while she was cleaning and hide them in her personal bag.
She later hid them under a refrigerator outside a storeroom.
The offences came to light only on May 9 this year.
Before Muinah's employer called the police, she searched the house to see what had been stolen.
She found items under the refrigerator with a value of some $65,000, including foreign currency, $1,000 in cash, a $30,000 diamond pendant and a $6,000 diamond pendant.
The next day, her husband flew to Indonesia, where he met Muinah's mother to retrieve the two watches.
Citing aggravating factors, Deputy Public Prosecutor Houston Johannus said Muinah had abused her position of trust.
He added that the value of the stolen items was high and that the offences happened over time.
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. For removing property outside jurisdiction, Muinah could have been fined up to $500,000 and/or jailed for up to seven years.