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Steve1960
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FDW serious issue

Postby Steve1960 » Sun, 19 Jan 2014 11:39 pm

I tacked this on to the end of another thread which may have been a mistake as I could do with some urgent advice. So posting separately now.

I could really use a little advice from you guys.

I am travelling on business and my wife just emailed me with the maid's latest confession.

She is 17 years old and was 16 when she came to work for us last September Shocked

The passport information is not hers at all. It is someone else name and date of birth. This goes a long way to explaining why she wasn't a great maid!!

I have told my wife to stop her working immediately, take her apartment keys and work permit and to not let her out of sight in case she does a runner.

I have also emailed the employment agency and will call them tomorrow when they open.

Should I leave this to the agency or should I also contact MOM immediately? Clearly now I am in possession of this information I need to act correctly the girl is a minor in the eyes of the law.

What a sh*t storm!

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 7:32 am

You should contact police. It's definitely a job for them. It's less about her age but she is an illegal immigrant.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 8:19 am

I suspect the agency might get it in the neck as a result of this, and therefore leaving it to them might not be the best solution (they're probably going to go into instant arse-covering mode).

Reporting it to the police would demonstrate how seriously you took the matter, but I think I'd want to be clear on the liability of all parties prior to going down that street.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 8:59 am

My reply in the other thread:



Steve1960 wrote:Now I could really use a little advice from you guys.

I am travelling on business and my wife just emailed me with the maid's latest confession.

She is 17 years old and was 16 when she came to work for us last September :shock:

The passport information is not hers at all. It is someone else name and date of birth. This goes a long way to explaining why she wasn't a great maid!!

I have told my wife to stop her working immediately, take her apartment keys and work permit and to not let her out of sight in case she does a runner.

I have also emailed the employment agency and will call them tomorrow when they open.

Should I leave this to the agency or should I also contact MOM immediately? Clearly now I am in possession of this information I need to act correctly the girl is a minor in the eyes of the law.

What a sh*t storm!


Indonesian?

This is extremely extremely common. I know more than a few Indonesians that used to be FDWs who told me their passport is fake and they're 2-4 years younger as they had to be 20 to come over to work. Half of them didn't even have the right name in their passport.

Since she admitted it to you, I'm not sure what your legal liability is. I'd call MOM myself asap.

edit: I'd suggest not treating her like a criminal yourself right now. Since you're likely to do the right thing, her short to mid-term life is essentially ruined right now. Just think: She's going to go back to a place shitty enough that she paid hundreds or thousands to buy a forged passport so she could come work as a FDW for a few hundred bucks a month in Singapore. She's also 17, and probably wouldn't know how to pull a "runner" even if she wanted to. She also probably opened up to your wife because you guys were nice to her and treated her like a human. At least be nice to her her last few days here.

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Postby the lynx » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 9:29 am

zzm9980 wrote:My reply in the other thread:



Steve1960 wrote:Now I could really use a little advice from you guys.

I am travelling on business and my wife just emailed me with the maid's latest confession.

She is 17 years old and was 16 when she came to work for us last September :shock:

The passport information is not hers at all. It is someone else name and date of birth. This goes a long way to explaining why she wasn't a great maid!!

I have told my wife to stop her working immediately, take her apartment keys and work permit and to not let her out of sight in case she does a runner.

I have also emailed the employment agency and will call them tomorrow when they open.

Should I leave this to the agency or should I also contact MOM immediately? Clearly now I am in possession of this information I need to act correctly the girl is a minor in the eyes of the law.

What a sh*t storm!


Indonesian?

This is extremely extremely common. I know more than a few Indonesians that used to be FDWs who told me their passport is fake and they're 2-4 years younger as they had to be 20 to come over to work. Half of them didn't even have the right name in their passport.

Since she admitted it to you, I'm not sure what your legal liability is. I'd call MOM myself asap.

edit: I'd suggest not treating her like a criminal yourself right now. Since you're likely to do the right thing, her short to mid-term life is essentially ruined right now. Just think: She's going to go back to a place shitty enough that she paid hundreds or thousands to buy a forged passport so she could come work as a FDW for a few hundred bucks a month in Singapore. She's also 17, and probably wouldn't know how to pull a "runner" even if she wanted to. She also probably opened up to your wife because you guys were nice to her and treated her like a human. At least be nice to her her last few days here.


Agreed.

Be nice to her. She's probably scared sh*t and probably have her life and her family's threatened now that she would never be able to repay her debtors and agents who got her in (illegally).

But call MOM hotline and police - pronto!

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Re: FDW serious issue

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 9:52 am

Steve1960 wrote: ..


years ago, when I was assisting for something, a Filipino maid was blacklisted and her family owed some money etc. etc. .

We suggested why not get her sister to work instead, as the case of removing blacklist may take a while ..

Guess her answer ?

I am here on my sister's passport, as I didn't have money to get my own passport..

For me, kicking her out = putting her in a deeper hole and the agents will demand she pay up, by crook or by nook ..

not doing it, you are breaking the law.

Catch 22 ??

Tough choice -
BTW: zzm9980 is correct: very common for Indonesians to up their age ..

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 1:11 pm

No catch 22 about it. She's breaking the law and you will be breaking the law as well. Call the police AND MOM. This way once she has been handed over to the police, your butt is clear. But don't tell her you are calling either or that you even know about it as she might just bolt. The you have a problem with the bond that you posted.

As far as feeling sorry for her, e.g. squirrel, forgeddit! She didn't give a damn about the position she has put you in, knowingly or otherwise. She does know, I'm pretty sure, that lying is wrong.

Hopefully, looking at the time stamp of your post, you called the police first thing this morning and MOM @ 8:30 am.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 2:07 pm

I'm with SMS on this one especially if she was not forced to do it. On top of it if she is here on somebody's else passport it may not be that prices for her as suggested. Probably I would see it differently if Steve had no problems with her and apparently she was not maltreated. It basically looks like one of the three scenarios: she was forced by somebody to come here; she just wanted to earn some money and got disappointed in the process; she is plain stupid.

BTW, looks like she is Burmese.

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Postby Steve1960 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 2:31 pm

Thanks everyone, just arrived at the office in Israel so time to start making the calls! It would be so much better if I was home to deal with this I really don't want to put the burden on my wife :-(

Yes the maid is Burmese and I know fake passports are common there.

Regardless of her lies and the position it has put me in yes of course we are being kind to her. I could not do anything else. Oh, and yes I do believe she opened up to my wife because we have been good to her.

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 2:32 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote: ..


Not encouraging the OP .. .. but got your point loud and clear though ..

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 4:12 pm

ecureilx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote: ..


Not encouraging the OP .. .. but got your point loud and clear though ..


Some people here are as jaded as the locals (Although SMS is arguably a local), yet in their own way :)

Anyone savvy enough to pull a "runner" and be able to survive in a place like Singapore with no support network wouldn't be stupid enough to have admitted she was under aged. Likely, she would never have had to lie to become a maid. She'd be the trafficker. It's really hard to say if she knew what she was getting into. Maybe she did it willingly, maybe she was coerced by parents or loan sharks. Very likely she comes from a smaller village and has no concept about seriousness of forged passports or lying about your age in the Western/developed world. To her a passport before she left was probably some bizarre abstract concept and she had no clue what she was paying so much for was that it had someone else's name and age; she probably just assumed living in a place like backwater Myanmar that this is how things work in the outside world.

Steve1960 will call police and MOM, they'll take her, she'll go home. Nothing will ever change though, as MOM can't really afford to care much lest the cheap supply of FDWs dries up.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 4:33 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
As far as feeling sorry for her, e.g. squirrel, forgeddit! She didn't give a damn about the position she has put you in, knowingly or otherwise. She does know, I'm pretty sure, that lying is wrong.



There's a reason Singapore is tier 2 on the annual US human trafficking list. IMO this is a risk Steve (sorry Steve!) decided to take by taking advantage of the cheap third-world FDWs available in Singapore. His maid may not have understood the implications of what she was doing, but we'll all say "ignorance is not a justification" in condemning her. But morally the same "ignorance is not a justification" must apply to Steve too. (Squirrel and I can't be the only ones to know how common forged passports are amongst this crowd.) He's just lucky that the letter of the law will be more so on his side.


2013's report. The Singapore section is a good read:
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/210741.pdf

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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 5:17 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Steve1960 will call police and MOM, they'll take her, she'll go home. Nothing will ever change though, as MOM can't really afford to care much lest the cheap supply of FDWs dries up.


well, you forgot the part about the family of the FDW still being forced to pay up the placement fees etc. .. and maybe trafficked to another place ..

Well, we can't change the world .. in all fairness .. in cases like this

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 5:47 pm

I don't think, even with all the pontificating here, that anybody would expect Steve to fall on his own sword because she "might" not have known what she was getting into. Let's call a spade a spade. He has to think of numero uno FIRST.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 20 Jan 2014 7:01 pm

zzm9980 wrote:2013's report. The Singapore section is a good read:
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/210741.pdf


That made interesting reading!

My take-away was 'All this bad stuff is going on, and the state acquiesce/don't care'.


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