An Indonesian maid broke down in court on Thursday as she related how she had deceived her elderly employer of $50,000 which she then gave to his property agent, now on trial for criminal breach of trust as an agent.
Ms Sarina, 29, speaking in Bahasa Indonesia, said it was the property agent, Terence Yan Khek Yong, who told her to tell a sob story to her employer, the late Mr Chan Kee Kok, so that he would give her money. Mr Chan died in February last year, aged 91.
She was to tell her employer her elder brother had fallen sick and that her house in Indonesia was damaged. Yan had also told her to say that she would go back if Mr Chan refused to give her money. But if she did, she would continue to take care of his intellectually disabled daughter after his death.
The court that Yan had asked for $100,000 to pay his lawyer. He kept asking her for money.
Yan, who is a businessman now, is on trial for misappropriating five cheques totalling $559,200 entrusted to him by Mr Chan to buy a condominium at Eastpoint Green in Simei Street 3 in 2010 for him and his daughter to live in.
He is also accused of instigating Ms Sarina to give false information to the police on Dec 6, 2010 that Mr Chan had told Yan to spend the POSB cheque for $200,000.
Ms Sarina testified that she had accompanied Mr Chan to the bank where he withdrew $50,000. He gave it to her when they arrived home.
Ms Sarina, who was crying, testified: “In fact, I was very sad, but I had no choice because Ah Kong (Mr Chan) had been good to me, yet I did this to Ah Kong.
“So, he told me this money is meant for me….. You can work for me, no need to go back.” She then gave the money to Yan, who came to pick it up at the carpark near Changi General Hospital.
The court heard that Mr Chan had also left $100,000 in his will for Ms Sarina, but the family has yet to apply for letters of probate to execute the will.
“I knew that Ah Kong wanted to give me a bit of money, but I don’t know the amount. I only found out when I returned home. Ah Kong showed me the will. He told me: ‘I have treated you like my own daughter. I was good to take care of him. He said this money is meant for you when I pass away,” she said in tears again.
When she informed Yan about her windfall, he told her to “change the will”, saying the amount was “too little”. He asked why she did not ask for more.
Earlier in her testimony, she said that Yan offered her a $700 job with his elder brother and asked her how much she earned.
She said Yan offered to pay her $30,000 if she would work for him. He told her that this was “not a crime”, and that if anything happened, she would have to be his witness. The next day, Yan came and offered her $15,000, which she rejected.
The hearing was adjourned to April 7.