Maid who stole from Changi Airport Group chairman's family plans to appeal against jail sentence

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
March 25, 2019

A maid who stole more than $34,000 worth of items while working for Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family was sentenced to two years and two months' jail on Monday (March 25).

Indonesian Parti Liyani, 45, who committed the offences while she was working for the household from 2007 to 2016, was found guilty of four counts of theft by District Judge Olivia Low on March 20.

Judge Low said Parti had stolen from Mr Liew, his two children Karl Liew and Liew Cheng May, as well as Mr Karl Liew's wife, Madam Heather Lim.

The maid stole items including a $10,000 Gerald Genta watch, 115 items of clothing worth $150 each, and two iPhones with accessories valued at more than $2,000 in total.

The judge said that aggravating factors in this case included the sheer number of items stolen, the high value of some of them and the prolonged period over which the thefts took place.

She added: "The quantity and variety of stolen items showed that the accused took these items out of greed. In particular, the accused took things which she may have thought were old, spoilt or forgotten, but which she had no immediate need for."

Parti has one more charge pending - possessing items, including ez-link cards and wallets, which are suspected of being fraudulently obtained.

She did not consent for it to be taken into consideration during sentencing for her theft offences and a pre-trial conference for this charge will be held next month.

Parti began working at the Liews' Chancery Lane house off Dunearn Road in March 2007.

Mr Liew Mun Leong later discovered that items had gone missing from the household and suspected that Parti had stolen them. He finally decided to terminate her employment in October 2016.

As he was overseas, he asked Mr Karl Liew to oversee the maid's termination and repatriation to Indonesia.

On Oct 28 that year, Mr Karl Liew told Parti that she would no longer be working for the family and gave her about three hours to pack her belongings. She was also given two to three months' salary as compensation.

Parti later demanded that he pay for three jumbo boxes of items to be shipped to her home and he agreed.

The maid then left the house without taking the boxes and returned to Indonesia. Madam Lim later voiced her concerns to her husband that it would not be prudent to ship the boxes back to Parti without knowing their contents.

This was because they had to declare the contents of what was being shipped. The boxes were opened and the family discovered many of their belongings inside.

A police report was later made after Mr Liew Mun Leong returned to Singapore. Parti returned to Singapore on Dec 2, 2016, as she wanted to continue working here but was arrested on arrival.

On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wee Hao urged the court to sentence her to at least three years' jail, stressing that her offences were premeditated.

Defence lawyer Anil Balchandani, who pleaded for a 10-week jail term, told Judge Low that all the items have been recovered.

The lawyer had been approached by migrant workers group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics to represent Parti pro bono.

The court heard that Parti intends to appeal against her conviction and sentence. She was offered bail of $15,000.

For each count of theft, she could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

The Straits Times

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