A Singaporean employer wrote to a local paper recently to describe the agonizing experience he endured after his Indonesian worker listed him as a guarantor – without his knowledge – and borrowed from over 10 legal moneylenders and loan sharks for a shopping spree.
The woman, who had worked for a Singaporean family for three years, admitted to her employer on September 15 that she had taken out loans since August, but said the debt had risen to an amount that was more than she could pay off, the Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) reported.
Soon after the worker’s confession, the employer said the family was rocked by frequent harassment calls and threats.
The employer said he was angered as he was told that some of the money borrowed came from a loan shark, whom he regarded as a bloodsucker.
The illegal moneylender initially gave his worker S$200, but asked her to pay S$100 per week in interest for the first three weeks, then S$400 a day thereafter.
The Indonesian maid reportedly borrowed more than S$3,000 all up from the loan shark and 10 legal financial companies.
The worker, who reportedly only had one day off every month, was seen bringing “shopping trophies” – handbags and new clothes – home after she was given two or three days off every month since July this year.
On Sept 18, the employer decided to send the worker back to the agency, who then arranged for her to return home to Indonesia, in a bid to stop the problems his worker had created.
It is not known if the worker, her employer or the agency paid off her outstanding debts.
Wong Kee Soon, the president of Adullam Life Counselling, said there had been an increase in the number of cases of foreign domestic workers borrowing money from moneylenders and having difficulty paying their debts off.
It was a worrying trend, Wong said, as their center has been receiving one or two new cases weekly involving borrowing from loan sharks. Employers or victims should not give in to triad members but file cases to the police, he urged.