Maid jailed for theft, returns most of the money using salary the employer kept

SINGAPORE: A 25-year-old maid was sentenced to one month in prison on Friday September 2 for stealing around S$4,600 from her employer’s family.

She sent most of it home to Indonesia and used some of it to buy clothes, cosmetics and cellphones.

Bela Kharisma Lut Fitriana returned approximately S$3,500 using his salary retained by his employer. The court heard she had no other finances to make up the rest.

Bela pleaded guilty to one charge of theft, with another charge being considered.

The court heard that Bela started working for her employers in April 2020. She cooked for the family and did household chores, and had access to the rooms of the first victim, a 42-year-old woman, as well as her 74 year. father of one year.

She discovered that the victim had a safe in a closet in her bedroom and saw the password written in a book. She also noticed that the victim’s father often left his wallet in an unlocked drawer.

Between April and December 2021, Bela took at least S$1,468 from the vault and S$3,150 from the wallet.

She hired a friend of hers, who was also a domestic helper, to hand over a total of S$3,390 to her family in Indonesia on several occasions.

She also used the money to buy clothes, cosmetics, a watch and two cell phones.

During this time, the victims began to notice the missing money. On December 30, 2021, the first victim questioned Bela about missing money from the safe and wallet, and Bela admitted to stealing.

A police report was filed and police seized 25 items Bela had purchased with the stolen money. These include jeans, jackets, shirts, liquid lipsticks, body lotions and night creams.

The prosecutor requested one to two months in jail, saying Bela committed the offenses over a significant period of time. However, he also considered restitution to have been made.

Bela, who was unrepresented, requested clemency through an interpreter. She said she would like to return home to Indonesia.

When the judge asked her if she could make the rest of the restitution, Bela said she had no other resources and not enough money.

His prison sentence was backdated to the date of his arrest in August this year.

For theft from accommodation, she could have been imprisoned for up to seven years and fined.