Singapore detains Indonesian maids for ‘funding Daesh’

About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore. Above, Indonesian maids undergo training in Jakarta for infant care prior to their deployment. (AFP)
Updated 24 September 2019

Singapore detains Indonesian maids for ‘funding Daesh’

  • The maids became supporters of Daesh after viewing online material last year
  • About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore

SINGAPORE: Singapore has detained three Indonesian maids without trial under tough security laws over allegations they donated funds to support the Daesh group, authorities said.
It is the latest case of allegedly radicalized foreign domestic helpers arrested in the city-state, and the government said it highlighted the continued appeal of the militants’ “violent ideology.”
The trio, who worked as maids for between six and 13 years in Singapore, became supporters of Daesh after viewing online material last year, including videos of bomb attacks and beheadings, the interior ministry said.
Anindia Afiyantari, 33, Retno Hernayani, 36, and 31-year-old Turmini became acquainted around the time they were radicalized and developed a network of foreign contacts online who shared their pro- Daesh ideology.
“The three of them actively galvanized support online for Daesh,” said the ministry in a statement late Monday, using an alternative name for Daesh.
“They also donated funds to overseas-based entities for terrorism-related purposes, such as to support the activities of Daesh and JAD. Turmini believed that her donations would earn her a place in paradise.”
Officials did not say how much they contributed.
JAD refers to Indonesian militant outfit Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, which has pledged allegiance to Daesh.
The women are being held under the city-state’s Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial for up to two years.
Daesh lost the last scrap of its self-declared “caliphate” this year but remains influential. There are fears that foreign fighters returning from the Middle East could rejuvenate terror networks elsewhere, including in Southeast Asia.
There has been a steady stream of such cases reported in Singapore, which is majority ethnic Chinese but has a sizeable Muslim minority.
Before the latest three cases, authorities had detected 16 radicalized foreign domestic workers since 2015, though none were found to have plans to carry out violent acts in Singapore. They were repatriated after investigations.
About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore.


Groom dies, 111 guests test positive for COVID-19 after wedding in India

Updated 02 July 2020

Groom dies, 111 guests test positive for COVID-19 after wedding in India

  • The man, 26, had been admitted and discharged from hospital before his wedding on June 15

LONDON: A groom in India who was suffering from suspected COVID-19 symptoms before he got married died two days after his wedding ceremony, while 111 of his guests tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The man, 26, had been admitted and discharged from hospital before his wedding on June 15 and was keen to cancel the wedding, but was advised against it by relatives due to the “huge financial losses” it would incur, local media reported.

It is not clear if he died directly from the virus because his body was cremated before any tests were carried out, officials in the state of Bihar said.

The chief medical officer in Bihar, Raj Kishor Chaudhary, confirmed all 111 people who tested positive had been “identified and isolated,” adding that the majority of them were asymptomatic. 

The bride and her family tested negative for the disease.

He added that anyone who attended the groom’s funeral would also need to self-isolate.According to media reports, around 300 people attended the wedding ceremony, while 200 attended the funeral.

An investigation has started into social distancing violations that may have taken place at both events. India’s coronavirus restrictions only allow for 50 people to attend weddings and 20 people to attend funerals.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India number 607,000 and more than 17,000 people have died as a result of the virus.