Indonesian domestic helper Susi Nur Handayani, 27, was sentenced to four months of jail time on Friday (Oct 25) for stealing a passport that belongs to a fellow resident in a maids’ shelter and attempted to present herself as the passport holder. Susi wanted to leave Singapore and go home to Indonesia.
She pleaded guilty to one charge of theft and another of attempting to cheat by impersonation, with a third charge taken into consideration.
When she committed the act in September this year, Susi – whose passport had been impounded by the police pending an investigation – was staying at a shelter run by Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) with three other Indonesian women who had worked in Singapore as maids.
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Senthilkumuran Sabapathy, Susi wanted to go home to Batam, Indonesia so she devised a plan to leave Singapore illegally by using passports belonging to other residents at the shelter.
During the court hearing, it was known that she borrowed first Ipah’s passport to buy a mobile SIM card on the night of Sep 7. She then stole Mutmainah’s passport, which was kept in a drawer at HOME’s office.
At about 2:00 o’clock in the morning of the following day, Susi left the shelter and headed to the Singapore Cruise Centre in HarbourFront, where Susi bought a boarding pass in Ipah’s name.
She handed the boarding pass and Ipah’s passport to an inspector at the immigration checkpoint and tried to deceive him into believing she was Ipah. However, her fingerprints did not match Ipah’s.
For attempting to cheat by impersonation, Susi could have been jailed for up to five years, fined, or both. For theft in dwelling, she could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.
Other cases involving Indonesian maids
Also in September, another Indonesian maid, as reported by The Jakarta Post, was sentenced to three years’ jail after pleading guilty to an attempt of causing a three-month-old girl to consume a mixture of milk powder and detergent.
Still in the same month, an Aljazeera news item carried the story of the three Indonesian women who were arrested and detained for allegedly funding terrorist activities in Syria.
A TodayOnline news story featured two separate cases involving Indonesian maids who were also sentenced to jail for stealing jewelry and cash from their employers, all to pay off their debts back home in Indonesia.
The big question is — what is in Singapore and what is with Singaporean employers that makes foreign domestic helpers commit such atrocious acts and risk going to jail? /TISG