The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) charged a 55-year-old Singaporean man in the State Courts today (11 October) with 20 counts of collecting kickbacks.
Ng Boon Cheng, the Managing Director of Lian Lee Wooden Case Maker Co Pte Ltd, collected as much as $105,235 from 20 of his foreign workers as a condition for their continued employment with the company.
MOM stated that all the monies had been recovered and returned to all the affected foreign workers.
It said that investigations revealed that between January 2011 and October 2015, Ng allegedly consented to the company to deduct various amounts from the salaries payable to 20 foreign workers for their continued employment with the company.
Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA), the collection of kickbacks or other benefits as a condition or financial guarantee for employment, is prohibited.
The accused was charged in Court today with 20 counts under section 22A(1)(b) read with section 20(1)(a) of the EFMA. The case has been adjourned to 8 November 2016 in Court 23 at 9.30 am.
If convicted, Ng is liable to a fine of up to $30,000 or to imprisonment for up to two years or to both per offence. MOM may also impose a permanent ban on the offender from employing foreign workers.
In August 2015, a Singaporean man Lim Leong Chye, the owner of a night club was convicted and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment and fined $35,000 for collecting kickbacks of between $460 and $10,000 from each of the 16 foreign workers as a condition of their employment by Club De Colors Pte Ltd or Club GMT Pte Ltd. He gained profits amounting to $97,550.
Another case occurred in April 2015, when a Singaporean man Sheng Jianzhong, the Managing Director of Sheng Yu Construction Builders Pte Ltd, was fined $169,000 in default three months’ imprisonment for receiving kickbacks from 24 foreign workers, each required to pay Sheng a sum of $7,200 as a condition for employment.
MOM said that foreign workers who are pressured to give kickbacks should seek help from MOM immediately and members of the public who know of persons or employers who contravene the EFMA should report the matter to MOM at Tel: (65) 6438 5122 or email [email protected] All information will be kept strictly confidential.