SINGAPORE — In a bid to repay loans she owed to friends and pay for her son’s surgery in the Philippines, Princess Meneses Joy Domingo stole S$30,700 worth of luxury handbags and jewelry from his employer and sold them for S$10,280.
After the domestic worker was arrested and charged in court, she again broke the law and stole 450 Singapore dollars from her roommate’s wallet.
The 28-year-old Filipina was jailed for a year and two weeks on Monday February 14 for her actions. She pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, with another similar charge being considered for sentencing.
The court heard that Meneses started working for his South Korean employer, who lived in a condominium in the upscale River Valley neighborhood, around May 2021.
Her scope of work was caring for the eldest woman’s nine-year-old daughter, picking the girl up from school, and doing household chores. She earned S$750 a month, had Sundays off and slept in her own room.
During the first month of his employment, his employer paid him an additional S$100 at his request. The next two months, Meneses asked for more money again and was paid an additional S$200 and S$300 respectively.
Meneses had access to all rooms, including the bedroom which was always unlocked. Her employer kept an assortment of jewelry and handbags there in an unlocked cabinet.
In June 2021, her employer realized that two Tiffany & Co rings were missing from her room, but she didn’t give it much thought as she assumed she had misplaced them in the unit.
But on August 19 of the same year, she discovered that five of her Chanel handbags were also missing. She then filed a complaint with the police.
During police investigations, Meneses admitted to committing the thefts on at least three occasions between May and August. She took them when the family was not home and immediately left the unit to sell the items.
She had sold three handbags through a 46-year-old friend, Parantar Marjorie. She told Parantar she had an Indian boyfriend who worked in Chanel’s IT department and could buy discount handbags.
Parantar believed him and bought the handbags, worth a total of around S$15,000, for around S$7,450.
She gave away a S$1,100 Hermès bracelet to Parantar for free and sold the Tiffany & Co rings at a Lucky Plaza pawnshop for S$920.
While awaiting trial, Meneses then stayed at Heritage Hostel and was given the contact of the Philippine Embassy here for assistance.
On October 14, 2021, her roommate went to breakfast and left her wallet unattended in the bedroom. Seeing this, Meneses took S$400 and decided to send S$100 to the Philippines, spending the rest on personal expenses.
The victim did not report Meneses to the police because she did not want the case to blow up. But two days later, Meneses again stole S$50 in cash when the other woman again left her wallet unattended.
When the victim filed a complaint with the police, Meneses claimed that she did not steal the money. She finally admitted the offenses on October 20.
For committing theft as a servant, Meneses could have been imprisoned for up to seven years and fined.