A 32-year-old Indonesian domestic worker has been stuck with debts of S$10,000 (US$7,343) after being cheated by a fraudster from her home town.
The maid had been working for an employer in Singapore surnamed Wang for more than five years and had performed well, Lianhe Wanbao reported.
Wang said the domestic helper’s work deteriorated from around the beginning of this year, adding that she had asked for her S$1,800 (US$1,321) salary for March in advance.
In June, Wang learned from a representative of an employment agency that the domestic worker had used another maid’s work permit to borrow money from financial institutions.
Meanwhile, a phone call from a loan shark told Wang that the domestic worker had defaulted on a S$500 (US$367) loan.
Wang took the domestic worker to a police station, where she initially refused to admit to taking out any of the loans.
However, after documents were discovered in the maid’s living quarters, she later admitted to having borrowed a total of S$10,000 from financial institutions, a loan shark company and other domestic workers.
She told her employer that at the beginning of the year, a group in her home town in Indonesia said they could double her savings using prayers and blessings. Believing this, she borrowed money from a money lender and sent it to the fraudsters. However, she never received any money back.
As she was afraid that her employer would find out about her situation, she turned to a loan shark and to other domestic workers for help.
According to Wang, another domestic worker who loaned S$1,000 (US$734) to her helper had charged her a very high interest rate and had kept her work permit, which she used to borrow money from other financial institutions.
Wang terminated the worker’s contract after learning of the maid’s situation.