SINGAPORE: An Indonesian helper who withdrew S$88,600 from the bank account of the 95-year-old father of her employer received a 15-month jail sentence Tuesday (Nov 14) after she was found guilty of one count of criminal breach of trust by dishonest misappropriation.

Eka Yuniarsih, 32, carried out her acts of thievery over a period of six months, as she was cautious of triggering an automatic alert from the bank when large transactions are made. Her misdeeds were only found out after the elderly man passed away when her employer saw his father’s bank statement. The helper has been required to pay S$5,442 in compensation; money was taken from her after Yuniarsih was arrested.

Because her employer’s father was wheelchair-bound, he asked Yuniarsih to withdraw money from his account with DBS. The elderly man gave the helper his ATM card and PIN so she could do so. However, she took advantage of the trust extended to her and took money from the man’s account, using the funds to pay for her large debt back home.

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Yuniarsih made 89 withdrawals, all for under S$1,000 each, to stay under the bank’s radar for large transactions. She had S$8,000 in cash when she went to Indonesia in April.

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Less than a week after the man died in July, his bank statement for the previous month was opened by his son, which is how he found out about the amounts Yuniarsih had withdrawn. But Yuniarsih lied to him when he asked her about the transactions, saying that it was the elderly man who had asked for them to be carried out.

However, her employer lodged a police report against her. The helper did not come clean at once, only admitting that she withdrew S$50,000 until she later confessed to the full amount of S$88,600. When she was arrested, the ATM of the elderly man was taken from her. Police also seized S$5,442 and about 7.5 million rupiah (S$644).

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Deputy Public Prosecutor Etsuko Lim asked the court for a 16 to 20-month jail sentence for the helper, given the nature of her offence and that she carried out her thievery in such a way that would avoid detection. DPP Lim also asked for cash compensation of S$6000 from the money taken from Yuniarsih.

CNA reports that Yuniarsih has not made restitution for the theft but that she apologised to her employer. She also sought a lighter sentence, saying that she has to continue to work to support her family.

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