A domestic helper claims a death threat was made against her by the boss of an employment agency soon after she launched a complaint to the Labour Department accusing the agency of charging her too much in commission. The helper, Herawati, appeared before the Small Claims Tribunal yesterday seeking $4,714 from the Golden Hand Indonesian Employment Agency. Ms Herawati came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper on January 5, 1999, and finished her contract on October 20 last year. She said her bank card was withheld by the agency and $5,100 had been taken from her savings account, although the agency was only entitled to $386 in commission - or 10 per cent of Ms Herawati's first month's salary. With the help of Bethune House, a domestic helpers' organisation, Ms Herawati made a complaint to the Labour Department last December. Soon after the complaint was launched, Harto Muljono, a director of the agency, approached a voluntary worker of Bethune House and said Ms Herawati would be killed when she returned to Indonesia if she pursued her complaint, the tribunal heard. Ms Herawati said she was so frightened that she avoided going out unless she was disguised in heavy make-up and a cap. The agency denies the allegations. Another Indonesian maid, Napsiatin Karlan, is also suing the agency, accusing it of overcharging almost $8,000 in commission. She came to Hong Kong to work on November 11 last year and was sacked on February 13. Adjudicator Cheung Wai-tat reserved his ruling until Monday.