Loan complaints probed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 November, 1999, 12:00am

Legitimate financing agencies are being probed after police discovered hundreds of maids have had their passports held as security for loans.

But several maids have complained that they have been driven to loansharks by a decision that bars them from using their passports as security with legitimate lenders.

Manila has ordered that Filipino's passports used as security for loans should be cancelled immediately to 'preserve the integrity of the document'.

Senior Superintendent Fung Kwok-on warned money lenders who kept borrowers' passports as security that the practice was illegal.

They could face a $100,000 fine and two years in jail.

The Philippine Consulate has said more than 200 nationals whose passports were being kept by finance companies had sought help in the first half of this year.

Philippine Vice-Consul Bernie Candolada said the consulate was able to retrieve most of the travel documents. Mr Fung said police were investigating any illegal activity in the cases.