A COUPLE facing a slew of sickening maid abuse charges were slapped with an extra 10 yesterday.
The Ministry of Manpower brought eight charges against sales manager Chia Yun Ling, 39, and two against her husband, IT manager Tay Wee Kiat, 37, under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
Chia now faces 19 charges in total, and Tay, 23 - all relating to their two domestic helpers.
Four of Chia's fresh charges were for ill-treating her Myanmar maid Moe Moe Than, 26.
The rest were for failing to provide her with enough food, not granting her enough daily rest, failing to bear her repatriation cost, and failing to ensure that all outstanding salaries due had been paid before she was sent home on Nov 12, 2012.
She worked for the couple at their home in Yishun Avenue 6 from late December 2011 to Nov 8, 2012.
Court documents show that Chia breached conditions of the work pass by forcing the Myanmar worker to eat rice which had been mixed with fine sugar on two occasions.
She is accused of forcing Ms Than to remove her blouse while making her do her chores and also allegedly restricting her use of the toilet, making her use a plastic bag instead.
Chia even allegedly threatened to hire someone to kill her family in Myanmar.
Tay allegedly threatened to make his Indonesian maid Fitriyah, 32, sleep with men to earn money to buy an air ticket home in February 2011.
In August 2012, he is said to have threatened to hire someone to kill her family in Indonesia, causing her alarm.
Last month, Chia was charged with hurting the two maids, among other things. She allegedly used a funnel to force sugar down Ms Than's mouth and forced her to swallow her vomit.
Among Tay's 21 police charges were using objects to hit the two maids; abetting one maid to hit the other; offering a bribe to Ms Fitriyah for not reporting him to the police for maid abuse; and abetting the Indonesian maid to lie to the police.
Their lawyer, Mr Wee Pan Lee, said his clients were claiming trial. The couple's bail of $8,000 each has been extended.
The maximum penalty for each ill-treatment charge is a $5,000 fine and six months' jail.
If convicted of failing to bear the repatriation cost and ensuring that outstanding salaries were paid before sending the maid home, Chia could be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to one year per charge.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Aug 11.
This article was first published on July 4, 2014.
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