A Singaporean employer warned of the “eternal nightmare” of borrowing from illegal moneylenders after her 45-year-old Indonesian maid fell into debt with multiple loan sharks.

The employer, a mother of three children aged between two and nine, told Shin Min Daily News of the nightmare faced by her family after their maid took out a S$300 loan in August 2017 to help her family in Indonesia build a house.

However, three days later, her maid was ordered by the lender to repay S$100 immediately, or additional interest would be added. About the same time, she received a call from another moneylender who promised to grant her a cash loan that could help relieve her situation.

The employer explained that her maid was so desperate that she agreed to take loans from various “good Samaritan” moneylenders, who later credited her maid’s bank account.

In only two months, the maid’s debts to illegal moneylenders grew from S$300 to S$5,480. Finally, she explained her situation to her boss, who accompanied her to file a case with the police.

Despite harassment from loan sharks that went on for more than two months after she lodged the police report, the maid kept her job. Her employer Koh said she hoped her maid had learned not to take the “easy way” of accepting money from loan sharks.

The employer also appealed to all employers to care for their workers to prevent them from falling victim to illegal moneylenders.