IN a modest flat above the teeming shoppers' paradise of Causeway Bay, Aaron Chan carried a large bundle of resumes in plastic folders. He slapped them on to a coffee table in the Anlida office, spreading his hand firmly on top. 'Okay,' he said. 'Under my hand, these are all $2,000 to $2,500. But their experience is in Indonesia, they haven't worked outside.' Later, he slid open an office drawer. Crammed inside were at least a dozen bundles of green Indonesian passports, each bundle comprising about five documents bound by a rubber band. 'But don't tell anyone. It is not legal to keep the passports,' Mr Chan said. The 15th-floor flat in the Great George Building - where shoppers pay the equivalent of a maid's monthly salary for Max Mara sandals - includes a desk, photocopier, towers of files and a sofa. Almost all Indonesian workers offered were Muslim women aged 18 to 36. Most were aged 20 and single. Questionnaires, completed in Chinese on the women's behalf, include queries such as: 'Do you accept no off-day and instead only outing with employers during your employment?' 'Yes,' they answer. Bringing over a smaller stack of resumes, Mr Chan said these latest offerings had arrived that day. New files arrived each fortnight, he said. Most were country girls who knew nothing of modern appliances and had to be taught how to use and clean them, he said. Unlike Filipino workers, they had no association in Hong Kong to encourage disobedient behaviour, he said. As a result, the women would accept low wages and poor conditions. They were also more polite and obedient than Filipino helpers, but could become 'difficult to control' after exposure to Hong Kong life during a two-year contract, he said. The Hong Kong Employment Ordinance gives all workers, local or foreign, one rest day a week, seven days' annual leave and 11 annual statutory holidays. But Indonesians, Mr Chan said, would accept just two days off a month and seven days' leave. Producing a business card for sister company On Sun Tat Travel, Mr Chan said the agency belonged to his mother who regularly visited Indonesia to interview prospective maids. But government files show On Sun Tat had its licence renewal refused in August 1997, for breaking immigration laws. A Kowloon domestic workers' agency warned it was unsafe to under pay, yet acknowledged a $14,000 commission was the 'market price' to secure a $2,500-a-month Indonesian worker. 'The Indonesians, before they come to Hong Kong, are informed by the agents that they have to accept that amount of money,' the agent said. 'Later on, when the maid comes to Hong Kong, she makes friends and they tell her [she should earn more].' Mr Chan recommended hiring a new Indonesian maid after each two-year contract, saying those who had already served in the SAR wanted more money. Asian Migrants' Centre spokesman Rex Verona said the Indonesian Consulate disapproved of the women forming groups, associating with non-governmental organisations or 'making a fuss' in Hong Kong. 'If their papers or documents are kept by the agency they're limited in what they can do. The consulate tolerates this, so agencies feel safe in what they're doing,' Mr Verona said. The Indonesian Consulate denied the charge. 'It is not true that Indonesian Consulate-General did not assist Indonesian domestic helpers, because [we] gave them briefing, including about minimum wage, since their arrival in Hong Kong,' it said in a written statement. Labour Department spokesman Richard Law Chi-ming urged underpaid maids to lodge a complaint with the Labour Relations Service. 'They've got to lodge a complaint, otherwise nobody knows,' Mr Law said.