Everything About The Acquittal Of A Former Maid Who Was Accused Of Stealing From CAG Chairman’s Home

Last Updated on 2020-09-07 , 6:28 pm

In March 2019, it was reported that a domestic helper working for Changi Airport Group (CAG) chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family stole more than $34k worth of items from them.

Miss Parti Liyani worked for Mr Liew from 2007 to 2016. As the CAG chairman was overseas, her contract was terminated by his son, Karl Liew, on 28 Oct 2016.

Miss Parti was found guilty on four counts of theft by District Judge Olivia Low on 20 Mar 2019 and sentenced to two years and two months’ jail.

The items stolen by the maid included a $10,000 Gerald Genta watch, 115 items of clothing worth $150 each, as well as two iPhones with accessories valued at more than $2,000 in total.

Suspected her for many years

The Straits Times reported that Mr Liew suspected Miss Parti of stealing from them for many years.

The CAG chairman stated that he was especially upset at the loss of a portable power bank that was given to him by a French university when he was asked to be a guest lecturer several years ago.

According to Mr Liew, he had taken it back to his home in Chancery Lane but could not find it a few days later.

When questioned by Miss Parti’s lawyer Anil Balchandani on why he had not acted earlier, Mr Liew said he had previously suggested terminating her employment to his wife, but Madam Ng told him it may not have been Parti who stole the items. “So I tolerated (it) for many years,” he added.

Items found in boxes

After asking her to leave immediately, Miss Parti was given three hours to pack her belongings. She was also given two to three months’ salary as compensation.

After packing her items in three boxes, Miss Parti demanded Mr Karl Liew to pay for the boxes to be shipped to her home in Indonesia and he agreed.

She then left the house without the boxes and went back to Indonesia.

The next day, Mr Karl Liew’s wife, Madam Heather Lim, suggested opening the boxes as “it would not be prudent to ship the boxes back to Parti without knowing their contents.”

After opening the boxes, it was discovered that many of the alleged stolen items were found.

The CAG chairman later made a police report after returning to Singapore.

Miss Parti returned to Singapore on 2 Dec 2016, as she wanted to continue working here but was arrested upon arrival.

She was charged in court on 31 Aug 2017.

Miss Parti told the court that the items that she allegedly stole were salvaged from trash bags, which were left by Mr Karl Liew.

Upon discovering the items after going through the contents, she decided to keep them. When Mr Karl Liew took the stand, he disagreed with her version of events.

Defence lawyer Anil Balchandani, who had been approached by migrant workers group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home) to represent Parti pro bono, said that she intends to appeal against her conviction and sentence.

Cleared Due To ‘Improper Motives’

According to ST, on 4 Sept (Friday), Justice Chan Seng Onn allowed her appeal against the sentence.

He found that there was collusion by the family, who had “improper motives” and wanted to stop her from going to the authorities.

Back then, she had threatened to go to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) because the family had made her work at the son’s office and home.

Domestic workers are not allowed to work anywhere other than the residence they are engaged to work for.

The judge also found that there was a break in the chain of custody of the allegedly stolen items, which were improperly handled by the family members before the police photographed and seized the items five weeks later.

This created a reasonable doubt as to whether the allegedly stolen items had been accurately documented by the police.

Statements In Suspect

Justice Chan noted that two statements were taken from her without an interpreter.

The judge also found the testimony of Mr Karl Liew to be “highly suspect”. The younger Mr Liew had claimed in court that various items of female clothing, allegedly stolen by Miss Parti, belonged to him as he liked to cross-dress.

It should be of note that Mr Karl Liew revealed to the court that he is an undischarged bankrupt and had been involved in a traffic accident about 10 years ago and had to undergo a surgery.

When Mr Anil asked him if his memory had been affected, he replied: “I just don’t remember some things.”

Mr Anil told the court that he would be making an application for compensation to be paid to Miss Parti.

She has reportedly not worked for four years since the incident happened.