A personal assistant was recently sentenced to eight weeks in jail for stealing $57,000 in cash from his employer’s cars. Ong Jia Le, a 27-year-old driver and assistant, pleaded guilty to a theft charge after being arrested in September 2022.
The incident unfolded when the 38-year-old Australian employer, suspecting that Ong was attempting to blackmail him, decided to file a police report. The employer revealed that Ong had sent him a text message apologizing for his actions, stating, “Your secrets are safe with me.”
However, the nature of these undisclosed secrets was not revealed in court documents, according to The Straits Times.
Ong’s responsibilities included running errands and assisting with general administrative matters for his employer. He was aware that the employer’s two cars often contained a substantial amount of cash, ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.
On the fateful day of September 10, 2022, at around 4 am, Ong made his way to his employer’s condominium and proceeded to steal a total of $57,000 from the cars. Shortly after, he booked a flight to Hanoi, Vietnam, scheduled to depart from Singapore later that morning.
The employer, taken aback by Ong’s sudden disappearance and the subsequent blocking of communication, alerted the police. The employer expressed concerns of potential blackmail, as Ong’s message seemed to imply that he possessed incriminating information that could be used against him.
“My driver did not show up to work, he blocked my wife (on the phone) and stopped taking my calls,” the employer told the police as per the report.
“Then he sent me a message saying he was sorry. His message also said ‘Your secrets are safe with me’, which I take it to mean that he is trying to blackmail me in the sense that if I go to the police, he will reveal certain secrets to my wife or whatever.”
While the exact course of events following the theft was not detailed in court documents, Ong appeared in court in April 2023. It was during this time that he made full restitution to his Australian employer. The personal assistant has since fully compensated the Australian man.
The court, after considering the severity of the crime, sentenced Ong to eight weeks’ imprisonment for his theft.
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