Courts hears how accused posted images of stolen cash on Facebook

An Indonesian maid and a co-conspirator were accused of stealing €280,000 from the safe of the maid's employer

A Libyan businessman who is claiming to have been robbed of €280,000 by his Indonesian maid has told a court that he was alerted to the theft by his 12-year-old son, who found Facebook pictures of the stolen cash on the woman's account. 

Earlier today, the victim, Fathi al Abujafar, told the court how his young son had come across Elsih Rohman’s Facebook profile and found a picture of the woman posing with wads of cash. 

The man’s son testified via video link from within the building. He told the court that he had got to know about the connection between Rohman and another woman, Soraya Meyer, on Facebook. He had found her through the “people you may know” feature of the site and then found her photos. 

“I found the old photos and scrolled down saw pictures of her and the older woman, and then I scrolled down further and saw the picture of the money laid out.” There were one or two photos, he told the court. 

Asked whether he recognised the accused, the boy said he recognised Meyer from photos on Facebook and had met Rohamn in real life. 

Inspector Taliana asked the son if he had found anything else. The boy said that he noticed the automatic translation of the Indonesian caption below the photo was “I love treasure.” A screenshot was exhibited.

Asked whether he recognised the accused, the boy said he recognised Meyer from photos on Facebook and had he recognised Rohman because he had met her in real life.

Dalli asked the boy who had accompanied him on the way to court. "Was it a family friend?” asked the lawyer. He said it was, adding that his daddy had told him that the woman in the photo was Soraya.

Rohman had accompanied the businessman on a trip to Germany, said al Abujafar, and he had initially not suspected her of the theft. “We didn't believe she had stolen the money...I was surprised. She was with us in Germany at the time, so I sent my daughter to Malta to check.” 

Of the €470,000 that had been in the safe, €280,000 was missing, said the businessman.

Al Abujafar had confronted the accused with this and she had eventually confessed, also implicating the co-accused. She had transferred €50,000 abroad, keeping the rest of the money at her friend’s house.

Testifying in broken English with such agitation that he had to be repeatedly asked to slow down, al Abujafar said that he had sent someone to Meyer’s house, but she had at first claimed not to know Rohman. 

He then contacted the police. 

The court was shown documents showing that Meyer had transferred over €40,000 to Indonesia via Western Union. 

The Libyan said that when he and his daughter had confronted Meyer about the missing money, the woman had handed back €9,000. After returning from abroad, he had gone to her house asking for the outstanding balance, offering to withdraw proceedings. 

“This time she offered me €2,000 but I did not accept them, as I wanted the full amount and not part of it,” the businessman told the court. 

Magistrate Josette Demicoli decreed that the court had been shown sufficient prima facie evidence to place the housekeeper Elsih Rohman, 27, and her co-conspirator Soraya Meyer, 50, under a bill of indictment. 

Dalli, Meyer’s lawyer, requested bail. Prosecuting Inspector Elton Taliana informed the court that the Attorney General had already opposed the granting of bail due to the amounts of money the women had allegedly transferred abroad giving rise to the risk of absconding.

“The transfer to Indonesia means they intended to go there,” said the inspector, pointing out that she was not from the EU and so would be harder to extradite if she absconded. 

But Dalli hit back, describing it this assertion as presumptuous. “Since when did bail depend on nationality?” asked the lawyer, “Libyans, Chinese have been granted bail, why not an Indonesian?” 

The amount transferred abroad did not exceed €40,000, said the lawyer. Meyer had two children, whom she had raised in Malta for 14 years. Both her daughters were enrolled in higher education in Malta, she also owned property here and was domiciled here. 

The court upheld Meyer’s request for bail against a deposit of €10,000. A protection order was issued in favour of the victim’s family. Lawyers Michael and Lucio Sciriha appeared parte civile.