A 48-year-old housewife in Singapore has written to a local newspaper complaining about loan sharks harassing her for money her maid had borrowed.

The woman said her Filipino maid had left the country without settling any of the seven loans she had taken out. She told Shin Min Daily News that her domestic worker had been a reliable person and had worked hard for her family for the past six years.

The maid had asked for annual leave of two weeks to return to the Philippines to attend the graduation ceremony of her son in April this year. The employer also lent the maid S$500 (US$367) as she expected her to return on May 21.

But the situation changed quickly as soon as the maid left. Her employer had a call from a man claiming the maid owed him S$420 (US$308) for a loan made in November last year.

The employer said she was tempted to pay the loan, but then changed her mind after receiving another call later on the same day. The second call was from a man who was a lot more hostile and insisted that as her maid’s guarantor, she had to settle a S$500 outstanding loan immediately.

The employer told another five people who called her asking to repay loans totaling S$3,000 (US$2,200) that she would ask her maid to settle the debts when she returned from the Philippines.

The problem was, her maid did not return.

The woman contacted police, whose investigated and discovered that the maid had taken most of the loans just before leaving. Five of the seven loans were made from illegitimate moneylenders, she was told.