Posted by: tigergrassroots | August 4, 2011

Pinay maid fined, jailed over illegal money lending

A Filipino maid in Singapore was fined S$130,000 (P4,454,424) and sentenced to three months in jail after giving out unlicensed loans amounting to S$3,000 (P104,867).

Melanie Jacalan Munar, 28, together with her employer, Koh Suat Lay, was found to be involved in illegal money-lending business between early 2008 and November 2010.

Munar, who is grateful to Koh for employing her since 2004 despite her epilepsy, pleaded guilty to illegal money-lending charges, Singapore-based Today Online reported.

Both women were found to have given out S$3,000 in loans to four Filipino women, with interest rates of up to 50 percent.

Since Munar was unable to pay the S$130,000 fine, she will be jailed for an additional three weeks and six days.

Scheme

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Jian Yi told the court Koh came up with the plan to offer financial loans after finding out that Munar’s friends were often in need of money.

Lim added Koh asked her maid to scout around for clients and she agreed.

Investigation showed Munar’s friends would approach her when they encountered financial problems, and she would then relay their requests to her employer.

After they agreed on the interest rate and period of repayment, Munar would hand over cash to debtors and collect payments.

Mitigation

But Munar’s lawyer Adrian Chong also told the court his client did not harass debtors when they defaulted on their repayments.

Earlier this year, a 68-year-old Singaporean man was jailed and fined after working with four Filipino maids, who were not his employees, to commit a similar offense.

All five were convicted and were jailed between three months and two years. They also had to pay fines of up to S$150,000 each. — JE, GMA News


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