In Singapore, domestic workers are restricted from performing any work outside of their main jobs. Doing so could get them fired, jailed, or worse, even deported.
For this reason, some workers in Singapore resort to loan sharks to help them gain financial assistance whenever they get into a tight spot. However, in the event that a worker fails to pay their debtors, the burden of payment is pushed onto the employers, who basically and technically, are the workers’ only source of income in the country.
Couple in SG Threatened by Loan Sharks Over Maid’s Unpaid Debt
A Malaysian Chinese man had reportedly been harassed by loan sharks in Singapore after his domestic worker failed to settle her loan worth SGD 300 (USD 221), as shared in a report by Shin Min Daily.
In early April, Allen Moo, a famous pop singer, revealed that he and his wife had received a text message from loan sharks informing them that their worker has borrowed SGD 300 from them.
The message said that the loan sharks could lend the worker up to SGD 3,000 if she could pay her loan of SGD 300 plus an interest of SGD 120 within a week. However, when the worker received the amount, she suddenly changed her mind and wanted to return the amount instead.
After a week, the loan sharks sent another message to the couple, who helped their worker repay the SGD 300. But the loan sharks were not satisfied and demanded SGD 1,000. After that, the couple received some threatening messages from the loan sharks and so they decided to report the incident to the police.
According to Moo, their worker had been diligent at her job with their family for more than two years already, but she never mentioned any financial difficulty. The report did not reveal the nationality of the worker.
In an announcement last year by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), foreign work pass holders who are found to have borrowed money from loan sharks will be sent back home and barred from further employment in Singapore under planned new penalties.
To address the growing issue regarding loan sharks in Singapore, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) urge the public to not deal with loan sharks at all. Furthermore, those in need of financial assistance can avail services from credit counselling hotlines, as well as financial management professionals.
To know more about money-lending in Singapore and the dangers of dealing with loan sharks, you can visit the SPF’s resource page regarding this matter.