8 employers, 2 employment agents charged for false declaration of salaries

8 employers, 2 employment agents charged for false declaration of salaries

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday charged eight employers who are franchisees of local convenience chain stores 7-Eleven, and two employment agents (EA) in the State Courts for providing false salary information to the Controller of Work Passes.

They allegedly made false declarations between Nov 11, 2010 and Sep 11, 2013 during application for a total of 41 work passes, of which 35 were Employment Passes (EP) and six were S Passes. EPs or S Passes are granted when applicants meet the minimum salary requirement.

Investigations revealed that eight employers from the following companies - Vina Trading, Manthra Enterprises, Magnaton Ventures, Nalla Traders, Chandrani Enterprise, Niche Formulas, Changrich Enterprise, and Rui Fuels & Services - declared during work pass application that they would pay the 41 foreign employees salaries ranging from $2,400 to $4,550.

However, some of them had much lower salaries paid in cash, while others returned cash amounts ranging between $600 and $3,350 per month to their employers after receiving the declared salaries in their bank accounts.

The employers thus committed an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) of furnishing false information to MOM.

MOM's investigations also showed that two employees of Ethics Career Solution Pte Ltd, which facilitated the placement of 21 of the 41 foreign employees, allegedly submitted false salary information in the work pass application forms. The two employees are also charged in Court for furnishing false information.

Seven out of eight employers pleaded guilty to the charges. They were fined between $8,000 and $56,000, or in default four weeks' and 42 weeks' imprisonment. One remaining employer has his case adjourned to May 8. One of the EAs was fined $22,000 or in default eight weeks' imprisonment and the other was given a $40,000 fine or in default 15 weeks' imprisonment.

All involved employees were charged in court on Feb 18 and Feb 27. 37 of the 41 accused were fined between $5,000 and $7,000, while four cases are still being heard.

Offenders of false declaration under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) can be fined up to $20,000 and may face a jail term of up to two years, if convicted.

Members of the public who know those who violate the EFMA should report the matter to MOM at Tel: (65) 6438 5122 or email mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

minlee@sph.com.sg

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