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An Indonesian maid was sentenced to 50 months’ jail, with another 12 weeks in lieu of caning, for threatening and robbing the bedridden husband of her employer.
Placing a pair of scissors at the victim’s neck, the accused, Eko Alviah, 30, threatened to kill the victim if he did not surrender his ATM personal identification number (PIN) on Sept 23, 2016, in the victim's Woodlands flat.
The maid who had been working for the household for about a year, also threatened to cut off the victim's nipple.
Out of fear, the victim, Mr Chew Seng Mun, 60, gave the accused a fake PIN.
He was subsequently bound and gagged with duct tape by the accused.
According to The Straits Times, Eko also locked the victim in the bedroom to prevent him from seeking help.
She then forced open a locked drawer in the master bedroom to look for her passport, and found a box with 25 pieces of jewellery worth S$2,648.
She took the jewellery, her passport and fled.
Before leaving, she stole another S$100 left on the living room table.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang said that after the robbery, Eko headed to Woodlands North Plaza and tried to withdraw money using Mr Chew's ATM card.
As the PIN given was fake, she could not withdraw any money and she threw the card away.
Eko then boarded a ferry for Batam, Indonesia at around 11am.
Upon arrival, she sold off the loot to a makeshift stall for S$140.
Thereafter, she stayed in Indonesia for the next seven months.
In February 2017, Eko enrolled at several maid agencies, but was found to be medically unfit to work in Singapore.
However, two months later, she applied for a new passport and managed to make private arrangements to work as a maid for a Singaporean employer.
When Eko returned on May 9, 2017, she was screened at the Singapore immigration and arrested.
Investigations also revealed that Eko had stolen S$700 from Mr Chew’s wallet in Dec 2015 while the latter was sleeping.
She then splurged on a mobile phone and other personal items.
Eko pleaded guilty on Wednesday (July 26) to three charges and was sentenced to 50 months in jail, with an additional 12 weeks in lieu of caning.
This is because while the robbery offence carries a mandatory minimum of six strokes of the cane, on top of a jail sentence up to 10 years, individuals above 50 cannot be caned.
DPP Pang in his statement, cited other aggravating factors and sought a jail term of at least four years.
District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt also took into consideration another four charges, and said the accused had preyed on someone whom she was supposed to care for.
“She took advantage of his age, of his disability and of his vulnerability in order to commit the offences, which were highly selfish and mercenary.”
Eko’s sentence has been backdated to May 11.
She could have been sentenced to seven years or more for criminal intimidation, and up to seven years or fined for theft as a servant.