Kampong Kapor Road, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A 36-year-old Indonesian woman calling herself Tina told a Singaporean newspaper how she and other illegal migrant workers from Indonesia visit the country repeatedly by posing as casino visitors.

Tina made multiple entries into Singapore, each time lying to immigration officers that she was coming to try her luck at Marina Bay casino.

As soon as she was granted entry for a 23-day stay, Tina rushed to Marina Bay Sands to scan her passport to serve as proof of having visited the casino.

She knew it was wrong to enter Singapore on a travel visa to work illegally, but she claimed she did not have any choice as there were no jobs available back home.

Illegal Indonesians are paid S$8-$10 (US$6-$7.4) per hour, working as construction workers, restaurant waiters, waitresses or domestic cleaners.

Many of them line up every morning on Kampong Kapor Road, aka Little India, looking for prospective employers to pick them up for the day.

A construction contractor who wished to stay anonymous told the media that they would search for temporary workers there because of their excellent work attitude.

As for Tina, she could earn up to S$1,330 per trip (US$985), which was at least ten times what she could make at home on Batam Island.

From Monday until Friday, she would be a domestic worker, and on weekends, she would wash dishes at wedding banquets. In order to cut costs, she slept on the streets.

The Ministry of Manpower replied to media inquiries saying that they were looking into the alleged illegal recruitment activities on Kampong Kapor Road.

Between 2016 and 2018, more than 900 foreigners who were visiting Singapore on travel visas were caught working illegally, while 550 employers were punished for hiring illegal workers.

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