Filipino maid jailed for moonlighting as loan shark
A Filipino maid who moonlighted as a loan shark was sentenced by a Singapore district court to 20 months in prison, dpa reported.
Rebecca Andicoy Alcalde, 28, offered loans of up to 300 Singapore dollars (223 US dollars) to other maids on Sundays, her day off, The Straits Times said.
She charged a 20-per-cent interest rate to cash-strapped foreign workers, the court heard, teaming up with Singaporean Lim Meng Inn, who is wanted by authorities.
Alcalde came up with the plan in 2005 after noticing that many maids were borrowing money from loan sharks to pay off debts at the Lucky Plaza shopping centre, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Without her employer's knowledge, she went into business with 5,000 Singapore dollars (3,703 US dollars) in savings.
Alcalde recruited Lim, 47, as her runner, the report said. She stationed herself on the sixth floor to collect payments and dispatched Lim to do the riskier task of making the loans.
She was arrested when police raided Lucky Plaza on March 30.
In asking for a short sentence, defence lawyer Leonard Loo said that Alcalde has been the sole breadwinner for her parents and four siblings for 10 years.