Maid jailed for helping local moneylender boyfriend
She was in a relationship with an unlicensed moneylender, who targeted Filipino domestic helpers like her.
On her days off, usually Sunday, Shirley Cansino Eustaquio, 45, would accompany him to Lucky Plaza and its vicinity, acting as a lookout and helping him with his illegal business.
Between July 2017 and April this year, she helped Singaporean Tan Boon Teck, 60, issue loans of $500 each to two domestic workers and collect repayments of $100 from five others.
Pleading guilty yesterday to two counts of unlicensed moneylending, Eustaquio, who has been working here for about 11 years, was jailed for eight weeks and fined $60,000.
Six other similar charges were taken into consideration.
She will spend an additional six weeks in prison as she was unable to pay the fine.
The court heard that Eustaquio and Tan were in a relationship since 2012. In July 2017, Tan took over a moneylending business from a Filipino acquaintance.
Tan gave loans of up to $500 to Filipino domestic helpers, charging a 20 per cent interest.
Borrowers had to give him a copy of their work permit and passport, and pay $100 a month for outstanding loans.
Two victims, Ms Lopez Analisa Mico, 44, and Ms Sonia Mamaril Bedana, 43, were each given only $400 when they took out $500 loans from Tan in July 2017 and March last year respectively.
The remaining $100 was for their first repayment.
Unable to fully pay off their loan, they continued to make monthly repayments until April this year.
Tan and Eustaquio were arrested on May 12.
State Prosecuting Officer Teo Keng Beng said Eustaquio knew Tan was carrying out unlicensed moneylending.
He said she claimed she had helped him out of friendship and was not given any monetary reward.
Defence counsel Ranadhir Gupta wrote in his mitigation plea that Eustaquio, who is separated from her husband, came here to work to support her two children and had no problems prior to her offences.
Tan's case is still pending and he faces 10 charges under the Moneylenders Act.
Those convicted of unlicensed moneylending can jailed up to four years and fined between $30,000 and $300,000.
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