SINGAPORE — A maid from the Philippines who stole nearly $15,000 of her Singaporean employer’s valuables was caught with the loot in her luggage eight days before she was due to return to her home country.
Castro Meldy Aloquina, 32, was jailed for five months on Wednesday (29 December) after she pleaded guilty to one count of theft as a servant.
Employed by the 46-year-old Singaporean from June last year, Castro was tasked to perform household chores. She was paid $662 monthly, or $692 if she did not take off days.
Castro began stealing from her employer from January this year. While she was doing her daily chores, she would steal items from her employer’s wallet and drawers. She knew that the key to locked drawers was kept in a bag and would fish out the key to commit the offences. She would return the key after each time.
On at least 50 occasions between January and November this year, Castro took $14,733.35 worth of valuables, including 14 pieces of jewellery and cash in nine different currencies. She pocketed $4,225 from her employer, which she then used to buy 12 pieces of gold jewellery.
Sometime before November this year, Castro decided to stop working for her employer and return to her home country on 28 November.
Eight days before the maid’s scheduled departure, her employer checked the maid’s belongings and found the stack of foreign currencies, household items and jewellery.
The employer confronted the maid, who admitted to stealing the items. After conferring with Castro’s employment agency, the employer called the police. She told the police that she had recorded the maid’s confession.
Castro was arrested and all the items were recovered including the 12 pieces of gold jewellery she had illegally bought with her employer’s money. Two partial payment receipts for jewellery with a total of $290 paid were also recovered. The amount was refunded by a jewellery shop and the refunded cash seized by the police.
Speaking through an interpreter, Castro told the court that she was remorseful for her actions and wanted to return to the Philippines and her two children as soon as possible.
She added that her eldest son had suffered a fracture after falling from a tree.
“I would like to take care of my son. I also have a daughter back home. I am pleading for leniency and a light sentence,” she added.
For stealing items belonging to her employer, Castro could have been jailed up to seven years, and fined.
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