They set up companies to fraudulently collect fees from over 300 foreign job-seekers, but the problem was - there were no actual jobs.
Two Singaporean businessmen will now face a total of 442 charges for operating the sham businesses, fraud and breaches in agency operations.
Both Terry Tan Soo I-Hse, 39, and Clarence Lim Jun Yao, 30, face charges for fraudulent trading under the Companies Act, as well as charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act for making false statements in connection with a work pass application. Tan-Soo faces an additional charge under the Employment Agencies Act for breaching employment agency licensing conditions.
Tan-Soo was the director of an employment agency Asia Recruit, now known as Alliance Recruit, while Lim was the director of Asiajobmart and UUBR, now known as Connectsia.
The two had submitted a total of 449 work pass applications to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), of which 445 were rejected.
MOM has imposed a ban on Lim, Asiajobmart and UUBR from employing any new foreign workers and from renewing work passes. Asia Recruit's employment agency licence has also been suspended.
If convicted under the Companies Act, the two may be sentenced to a jail term of up to seven years, or a fine of up to $15,000, or both, for each charge.
Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, the two may face of up to two years, or a fine of up to $20,000, or both, for each charge.
Breach of licencing conditions under the Employment Agencies Act also carries imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to $5,000, or both, for each charge.
MOM reminds job seekers that they should not pay fees to their agencies until they have successfully been offered a place with an employer.