Domestic work nabbed for stealing employer valuables worth $30,000 in Singapore.

A domestic helper who had Sundays off, her own room and a salary of S$750 per month stole luxury handbags and rings worth more than S$30,000 from her employer.

She sold the items for cash as she needed money for her son’s operation in the Philippines and to repay rolling debts she incurred from borrowing money from friends in Singapore.

When she was nabbed, the 28-year-old Filipina went to stay at a hostel pending her court case. She stole again, this time from her room-mate, a fellow foreigner.

Meneses Princess Joy Domingo was sentenced on Monday (Feb 14) to a year and two weeks’ jail. Domingo, who has been remanded since December, pleaded guilty to one count each of theft and theft by servant, with a third charge taken into consideration.

The court heard that Domingo began working for a 41-year-old South Korean woman at her condominium unit in central Singapore from May 2021.

Her employer kept an assortment of jewellery and handbags in an unlocked wardrobe in her bedroom, which was never locked, the prosecutor said.

Domingo was tasked with caring for her employer’s nine-year-old daughter, preparing her meals, fetching her to and from school and performing household chores.

She earned S$750 a month and had Sundays off. She slept in her own room in the apartment and was given a bed with a blanket and pillows, and had enough sleep, rest and food, said the prosecutor.

In her first month of working for her employer, Domingo requested for more money, and her employer gave her an extra S$100 on top of her salary. 

Domingo then asked for more money again, and her employer gave her an extra S$200 in July 2021, and an extra S$300 in August 2021.

Despite this, Domingo stole from her employer when she was not at home, and when her daughter was in school. Between May 2021 and August 2021, she went into the unlocked wardrobe and stole S$30,705 worth of Chanel handbags and Tiffany & Co rings over three occasions. The priciest bag was worth S$8,500.

Once she had stolen the items, Domingo would immediately leave the unit to sell them. She said she required money for her son’s operation back home, as well as to repay debts she had incurred from borrowing money from her friends in Singapore.

Domingo sold some of the bags to her friends or acquaintances, lying to them that she had been gifted the goods by her Indian boyfriend working as an IT employee in Chanel. She sold the rings to a shop in Lucky Plaza.

She gained S$10,280 from the sale of the goods and remitted some money back to the Philippines. She used some of the money to repay the loans she owed to her friends.

In June 2021, Domingo’s employer noticed that two of her rings were missing. She assumed that she had misplaced them elsewhere in the apartment and did not think much of it.

However, she discovered on Aug 19, 2021, that several of her Chanel handbags were missing. Suspecting that Domingo had stolen them, she filed a police report.

Domingo admitted to the offences. While waiting for her court case, she stayed at a hostel with a 37-year-old woman from China, who was a stranger to her.

Domingo was given the contact of the Philippine Embassy so she could seek help if she needed it, but instead stole cash from her room-mate’s unattended wallet left behind in the hostel room.

She pocketed S$400 from the woman. The woman knew that the money had gone missing but did not report the matter at first, as she did not want to blow up the issue.

However, Domingo stole another S$50 from her room-mate’s wallet in October 2021, for her personal expenses and to send money back home. When her room-mate realised that S$50 was missing from her wallet, she lodged a police report.

When interviewed by the police for these offences, Domingo initially claimed she did not do it, and that she did not even know where her room-mate kept her money.

She admitted to her crimes only in her third interview.

The prosecutor asked for 15 to 18 months’ jail for the theft by servant charge, and two to four weeks’ jail for the theft from her room-mate. She did not make submissions on whether to run the jail terms consecutively.

She pointed to the significant value of the items stolen from Domingo’s employer, as well as how Domingo breached the trust reposed in her.

For theft by servant, Domingo could have been jailed up to seven years and fined. As the charge was amalgamated, the maximum penalty could have been doubled.

http://www.oneworldvisionnews.com

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