Court indicts local woman for exploiting Indonesian caregiver


TAIPEI–An employer in Taipei was indicted by prosecutors yesterday for exploiting an Indonesian caregiver, including illegally withholding her salary. Prosecutors are seeking a 10-month jail sentence and a NT$300,000 (US$10,169) fine for 53-year-old Lin Li-chuan on charges of violating the Human Trafficking Prevention Act. Umi Setiyawati was hired by Linin March 2010 for NT$15,840 per month under a two-year contract to take care of her ailing father, according to the indictment issued by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

In reality, however, Setiyawati was required to care for Lin’s mother as well, the indictment states.

In the ensuing 18 months until September 2011, Lin deducted a total of NT$93,744 from Setiyawati’s salary, citing frivolous charges such as forgetting to boil water, boiling too much water, spending over five minutes buying meals, dropping a jacket on the floor and damaging furniture while cleaning.

During the course of the investigation, Setiyawati said she even stopped menstruating because she was in constant fear due to the harsh treatment by her employer.

Setiyawati also accused Lin of forbidding her from taking showers on the grounds that it would waste water. She said her employer only allowed her to take sponge baths, to wash her hair only once a week, and to drink just a single bottle of water per day.