Maid charged over helping loan sharks to promote services on TikTok

Christine Tan
The Straits Times
Feb 28, 2024

A migrant domestic worker who allegedly helped loan sharks promote their business on social media platform TikTok has been charged in court.

On Feb 28, Indonesian Ida Yuliati, 43, was charged with one count of assisting unlicensed moneylenders in carrying on their business.

Between June 14 and June 25, 2023, Ida had purportedly helped two unlicensed moneylenders known as Sam and John by posting 20 loan advertisements on TikTok.

No further details were given in charge sheets about the content of the ads.

More than 10 reports were lodged between June and August 2023 about Ida’s TikTok account, said the police on Feb 27.

In court, Ida said she intends to plead guilty. She added she did not know she had borrowed from an unlicensed moneylender.

District Judge Brenda Tan granted Ida bail at $15,000. Her case will be next heard at a pre-trial conference on March 12.

If found guilty of assisting unlicensed moneylending, first-time offenders may be jailed for up to four years, fined between $30,000 and $300,000 and handed up to six strokes of the cane.

Ida cannot be caned as she is a woman.

The police said those linked to loan sharks will face the full brunt of the law, regardless of their roles.

Migrant workers who have assisted or borrowed money from these illegal moneylenders may also be repatriated and barred from working in Singapore.

The police have partnered with the Ministry of Manpower and other non-governmental organisations to educate maids about the “severe consequences of getting involved in unlicensed moneylending activities”.

Employers of foreign domestic workers can help by reminding them to stay away from unlicensed moneylenders and not work with or assist unlicensed moneylenders in any way.

The public can call the police on 999 or the X-Ah-Long hotline on 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in loan shark activities.

The Straits Times

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