SINGAPORE: A foreign domestic helper who used her work permit to take a loan for another maid complained that the latter never intended to pay her back.
In a post to Facebook group FDW in Singapore, a third helper shared the situation. She wrote that her friend, T, used her work permit to borrow a sum of money for L, another helper. While the amount was not disclosed in the post, the maid shared that T had to pay a monthly interest rate on top of the amount she had to return.
“( L) doesn’t give any amount to pay the loan. So (T) so worried that the loan is increasing and this is credit to her name… (T) is a helper who have a good heart and the intension is pure to help( L) because they came also at thesame Country and village and she is a friend too of( T) but( L) is a Scammer, a user and a liar etc”, the maid wrote in the post. She then asked netizens for advice on what could be done to help T get the money back from L. She added that when they tried to contact L, she became difficult to reach and tried to hide herself. Both the helper who wrote the post and T did not know L’s address either.
“is it possible to find her (L’s) address, and to make aware her employer about her helper? And to hold her salary to pay her loan to( T)” the maid asked.
She also added that because of this incident, they found out that before L came to Singapore, she had also taken a loan in her previous country and without paying had run here to work. T also found out that L has applied to transfer to another country so she would not have to pay her loan here in Singapore.
The maid added that T did have some evidence of the situation and asked others in the group for advice on how to put an end to L’s behaviour.
Here’s what they said:
Last year, after a foreign domestic worker got involved with loansharks, her employers were not spared. The woman’s employers were harassed with multiple missed calls and video calls.
A moderator of the Facebook group FDW in Singapore (working conditions forum) Eliz Llanillo shared earlier in the year that her friend (an employer) told her that they were being harassed by loansharks because of their helper who borrowed money.
Ms Eliz wrote: “Can we think that this is our Ricebowl and we should takecre (sic) [o]f this job. This is where we get the food to feed and provide to (sic) our family and for the future”.
In an update, Ms Eliz shared a screenshot of the police report the family made, as well as an email from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). In her police report, the helper said that the loanshark “kept giving my employer missed calls/video calls and prompting my employer to pick up his calls, call the police, scolding vulgarities to my employer and send a screenshot of my full details”.
The helper, who had been working in Singapore for 5 years, wrote that she was with her current employer for about 5 months. She said: “This is the first time that I tried to request for a loan and I am aware that the person I was dealing with is a loan shark”. The helper added that she also did not have any financial difficulties and just wanted extra income.
In the email from MOM, the ministry said that it takes a “serious view on moneylending activities and will also be imposing administrative penalties on migrant domestic workers (MDWs) who borrow from unlicensed moneylenders”. The helper was also placed on an employment ban because she had borrowed from unlicensed moneylenders.
Maid borrows money from loanshark for “extra income” but employer gets harassed & scolded vulgarities as well
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