Ex-director of engineering firm accused of collecting $34,500 in kickbacks

Ex-director of engineering firm accused of collecting $34,500 in kickbacks
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - A 37-year-old Indian national has been charged for various employment and kickback offences here, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a statement today (March 16).

Sivasundaram Veeramani, a former director of Koa Low Engineering Pte Ltd, faces 20 charges of submitting false information in work pass applications.

Between November 2015 and March 2016, Veeramani falsely declared on behalf of the company the fixed monthly salaries of 20 foreign employees to be at least $4,800, so as to meet the minimum salary requirement of the Employment Pass. He allegedly knew that the foreign employees would be paid less.

He is also accused of engaging in a conspiracy in May 2014 with a Singapore Permanent Resident to employ six foreign workers to work without valid work passes.

Veeramani faces another 16 charges for demanding a total of $34,500 from foreign employees - ranging from $1,500 to $2,200 per employee - as kickbacks for their continued employment with Koa Low Engineering.

The kickbacks have since been returned to most of the affected workers, the MOM said.

Veeramani will appear in court on April 27.

Those convicted of submitting false information in work pass applications can be fined up to $20,000, jailed for up to two years or both.

For collecting kickbacks, the punishment is a fine of up to $30,000, a jail term of up to two years or both.

Anyone convicted of illegal employment faces a fine of between $5,000 and $30,000, a jail term of up to a year or both.

The MOM may also ban offenders and their companies from employing new foreign workers and stop granting work pass renewals.

Foreign employees who are pressured into giving kickbacks can seek help by calling the MOM on 6438 5122 or the Migrant Workers' Centre on 6536 2692.

huizhen@sph.com.sg

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