The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

An employment agency in Singapore which listed Indonesian domestic workers on an online community marketplace was under investigation by the Ministry of Manpower for allegedly offering the women as items for sale.

A user called “maid.recruitment” was “offering” several Indonesia women on Carousell – a smartphone and web-based consumer-to-consumer marketplace for buying and selling new and second-hand goods, The Straits Times reported.

The workers’ faces and their personal information such as names and ages were clearly shown on the account listing page, which was removed on Sept. 15 by Carousell, which also suspended the account.

A Carousell spokesperson told the media that about 50 listings were detected and all were removed as it violated the company’s guidelines on advertising involving individuals as well as their personal biodata.

The ministry was also alerted about foreign domestic workers being marketed inappropriately, and investigations under Section 11(1)(c) of the Employment Agencies Act were ongoing to discover if the employment agency had jeopardized the interests of its client workers.

The Carousell user would also be tracked down by the ministry to see if it was a legal, registered agency in Singapore.

Any unlicensed agency could be fined up to S$80,000, and/or jailed for up to two years for providing employment referral services, while those who use the services provided by illegal agencies could be fined up to S$5,000.