More employers are hiring private detectives to spy on their helpers.
One of them is 27-year-old Shoba Devi, who got suspicious when her Filipina domestic worker started long phone conversations late at night. Devi, an unmarried administrative assistant who lives with his father who is in his 60s, said she was wondering if her maid has a boyfriend and was worried if she brought her boyfriend home, in a recent Straits Times report.
Devi hired a private investigator to check out her maid during her days off. It was then discovered that the Filipina maid, in her 20s and married, had a Bangladeshi boyfriend whom she’d see during her days off. They eat out, shop and later check in on a budget hotel.
“I kind of expected her to have a boyfriend but I was shocked that she checked into a hotel with her boyfriend. What would happen if she got pregnant? So I sent her home,” Devi said.
Devi spent S$2,500 or (US$2,002) for three days of monitoring her maid and she thinks it’s all worth it.
Private detectives in Singapore charge between $1,000 (US$800) and S$4,000 (US$3,203) to track maids, according to the Straits Times. The same report said the demand doubles during June and December school holidays when families go on vacation, leaving maids at home on their own or with an elderly relative.
The Manpower Ministry (MOM) receives an average of 200 complaints a month about errant maids. The top three complaints of employers about their maids are bringing boyfriends home, stealing and hitting the children.
David Ng, director of DP Quest Investigation Consultancy said another Filipina maid was trailed and found out that she would check in different budget hotels with different men on a Sunday. She spent her off days as a sex worker with three to four clients a day. She was fired immediately after the discovery.