Unable to repay her snowballing debt, a single mother in Malaysia apparently forced her daughter, now 17 years old, to have sex with her creditors as a means of payment.
After the girl was rescued and brought to a children's shelter, the mother continued to harass and spread falsehoods about the shelter.
This forced the shelter to bring the girl to make police report against her mother.
Had difficulty paying debts
The single mother's actions first came to light after a social worker in Malaysia received a tip off from a member of the public in March 2022, according to Malaysian media outlet China Press.
The single mother was described as coming from an impoverished background, and was ridden with debts.
The mother had borrowed money from loansharks and other male tenants who lived under the same roof as her and her daughter.
China Press did not specify if the house belongs to the mother, or if the mother and daughter were also renting a room at the property.
She also borrowed money using her young daughter's name.
Screenshots shared by China Press showed that the mother owed a man around RM4,062 to RM5,562 (S$1,260 to S$1,726) for the period between February and March 2022.
Used her daughter to repay debt
The girl told China Press that she had slept with a male tenant almost 60 years old.
She "somehow" had sex with this man earlier this year, and her mother later discovered about the incident.
Since then, the man whom the girl referred to as "godfather" would subsequently pay the girl RM100 after sleeping with her. She would then pass the money to her mother.
During this period, the mother continued to borrow money from this "godfather".
The girl told China Press that she had sex with this man multiple times, and the duo even referred each other as "boyfriend" and "girlfriend".
She added that her mother had ordered her to sleep with another male tenant so as to repay the debt that she owed to the loansharks.
The girl said this male tenant moved out of the house soon after as he was afraid of getting into trouble.
The mother was reported to have done the same to her older daughter, and this apparently drove the girl to take her life after.
Daughter was placed in welfare centre, mother agreed
The social worker who was alerted to the incident, surnamed Lin, told China Press that he believed that the 17-year-old girl has low IQ.
Therefore, she may trust people too easily, making it easy for others to take advantage of the girl.
Together with other social workers, Lin brought the girl to a shelter where she can receive education and grow up safely.
At that time, the mother apparently agreed to the social worker's arrangement.
In a simple handwritten contract, she agreed to the social workers' terms and allowed them to take care of her daughter. In return, the social workers also agreed to arrange for the daughter and mother to meet in October 2023.
Mother went back on her words
After signing the agreement, the mother reneged on her words and tried to reconnect with her daughter several times by visiting the shelter. She even brought her creditors along with her during some of her attempts.
The mother also accused social workers of abducting her daughter.
Separately, one of the mother's creditors made multiple calls to Lin, asking for the girl's whereabouts, and at times cursing at and making threats towards Lin and his family.
The girl is reluctant to go back and live with her mother as she hopes to start afresh, China Press reported.
57-year-old man arrested
Lin had little choice but to escalate the matter to the authorities in order to stop further harassment and accusations from the mother.
A few social workers accompanied the girl to lodge a police report in Johor Bahru on Sep. 20, 2022.
China Press also reported on that a 57-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of raping an underage person, and he will be investigated.
Top image from China Press website