Maid gets 50 months' jail for robbery, theft and threats

This article is more than 12 months old

An Indonesian maid terrorised her employer's bedridden husband by threatening to kill him if he did not reveal his ATM personal identification number (PIN).

Eko Alviah, 30, who placed a pair of scissors at the neck of Mr Chew Seng Mun, also threatened to cut his nipple on Sept 23 last year.

After the 60-year-old had given her a false PIN out of fear, she bound and gagged him with duct tape to prevent him from seeking help, as she knew he could still shout and move around slowly.

She also locked the bedroom door.

She forced open a locked drawer in the master bedroom to look for her passport and found a box with 25 pieces of jewellery worth a total of $2,648.

She then fled from the Woodlands flat with her passport and the jewellery, along with $100 she stole off the living room table.

She had been working for the household for about a year at the time. Her main duty was to take care of Mr Chew, who had Parkinson's disease and has since died.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang said Eko went to Woodlands North Plaza and tried to withdraw money using Mr Chew's ATM card. When she could not withdraw any cash, she threw the card away.

At about 11am, she boarded a ferry for Batam, where she sold the stolen jewellery for about $140.

Meanwhile, Mr Chew's son found his father taped and bound after unlocking the bedroom door with a spare key.

DPP Pang said Eko remained in Indonesia for the next seven months. In April this year, she applied for a new passport and made private arrangements to work for an employer here as a maid.

On May 9, she was screened at immigration when she tried to return here and was arrested.

Investigations further revealed that Eko had stolen $700 from Mr Chew's wallet some time in December 2015 while he was sleeping.

Yesterday, Eko pleaded guilty to three charges and was sentenced to 50 months in jail, plus another 12 weeks in jail in lieu of caning.

The robbery offence carries a mandatory minimum of six strokes of the cane and a jail sentence of up to 10 years. But women, as well as men above 50, cannot be caned. The judge backdated her sentence to May 11.