An employer who helped his maid pay off a loan she took out for her family was then berated over a second illegal debt, with a moneylender threatening to burn his apartment down unless it was settled.

The 60-year-old businessman, called Lee, told Shin Min Daily News that he employed the woman eight months ago at his apartment on Braddell Road. She asked if she could borrow S$1,000 (US$728.70) so her family in Indonesia could buy land and build a new house.

He was only willing to give her S$500, and without his knowledge she took out a $600 loan from a legal moneylender. Learning of the loan on August 10, Lee went with the 46-year-old maid to pay off the debt.

But a few days after, he received a call from an illegal moneylender who claimed that she had taken another loan, for S$300 (US$218). With interest added, the amount owed had blown out to S$500. The maid admitted she had taken out loans with separate money-lenders.

The employer was harassed with foul language and threatened with videos of arson and graffiti vandalism. Outraged, he took the woman to a police station and filed charges against the moneylender.

According to newspaper reports, the maid was subsequently dismissed and sent back to Indonesia.