Woman on trial for allegedly abusing two maids in Sentosa Cove home
Her husband also faces charges involving illegal employment of foreign nationals
A Singaporean woman accused of abusing two domestic workers at her home in Sentosa Cove went on trial yesterday.
Tan Lee Hoon, 56, is contesting eight charges of voluntarily causing hurt to two Filipino women while they were employed to work at her home on Paradise Island.
She is alleged to have pinched Ms Jenefer Arangote Vegafria, 39, in the stomach, arm, chest and thigh on various occasions in September 2018, and is alleged to have kicked Ms Joan Lozares Lizardo, 33, in the chest and hit her head the following month.
Tan, who is represented by lawyers Sunil Sudheesan and Diana Ngiam, is also accused of striking Ms Lizardo's torso with a stick.
Both helpers were employed by Tan's husband, Sim Guan Huat, who is separately facing charges involving the illegal employment of foreign nationals, including Ms Lizardo.
According to public records, Tan owned a furnishings company from 1989 to 1993 and was the director of Novena Medical Centre from 2005 to 2007.
Sim, 59, owns a tyre and vehicle batteries company and is a director in three other firms.
Court documents said Sim employed Ms Lizardo in October 2015 and hired Ms Vegafria in August 2018.
The alleged abuses came to light on Oct 17, 2018, after Ms Vegafria's friend, also a maid, contacted the Ministry of Manpower, which in turn alerted the police. The friend claimed Ms Vegafria was beaten by her employer and allegedly had photos of the bruises she suffered.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Lynn Tan, an investigating officer on the case, testified yesterday that the alleged abuses happened across two storeys of the house, where there were multiple closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed.
But there was no footage recorded as the CCTV server was missing its hard disk.
The officer checked with the company that installed the cameras and was told the system should have had all the fittings, including the hard disk, unless it had been removed or modified.
During cross-examination, Mr Sunil said the maids had changed their stories many times, and asked why no sticks were seized from the house on Oct 17, noting that one was allegedly used to hit Ms Lizardo.
ASP Tan said the victims told her Tan had disposed of the sticks that were used.
The trial will resume this morning, with one of the victims expected to take the stand.