An Indonesian couple has been arrested by judiciary police in Macau for alleged loan sharking and robbery of an Indonesian domestic worker.

A 38-year-old Indonesian, who is a waiter at a sauna and his girlfriend, a 35-year-old Indonesian woman who manages a nightclub, were arrested for profiteering, robbery and detaining travel documents by improper means, Jornal Do Cidadao reported.

It was understood that the victim, a 38-year-old domestic worker borrowed 8,000 Macau patacas (US$993) from the couple in April last year as she urgently needed the money for her family back in Indonesia.

However, the couple asked for 1,800 Macau patacas (US$223) a month in interest until she clears the loan, and detained her passport as collateral.

The maid paid 1,800 Macau patacas to the couple from May to September last year but stopped paying the money in October when she returned to Indonesia.

In March this year, the domestic worker met the couple at her residence in Macau and was taken to a staircase. They grabbed her mobile phone, passport and ATM card and allegedly demanded 10,000 Macau patacas before she could get her belongings back.

Later, the couple asked for 7,000 Macau patacas more from the domestic worker.

But the woman could not afford to pay that. With her work visa due to expire at the end of October, she told her employer about the incident.

The employer accompanied her to report the case to the police.

Judiciary police arrested the couple on Avenida de Horta e Costa on Tuesday. The pair admitted that they had lent money to the domestic worker and took her belongings away, but denied loan-sharking.

The couple was sent to the public prosecutors’ office so the matter could be sorted out.