The managing director of Lian Lee Wooden Case Maker Co, Ng Boon Cheng, was fined $60,000 on Tuesday (22 November) for collecting kickbacks from his foreign workers.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) also banned the 55-year-old man from employing foreign workers.
Ng also faces 18 weeks of imprisonment if he fails to pay the fine.
The man was charged with 20 counts of collecting kickbacks amounting to $105,235 from 20 of his foreign workers, as a condition for their continued employment with the company.
Before the renewal of the foreign workers’ permits was due, Ng would interview them. He then said that they had to pay for the renewal fees which would be deducted from their monthly salaries in order to continue their employment with the company.
Sums between S$575 and S$9,000 were deducted from the foreign workers’ salaries between 9 November 2012 and October 2015.
MOM stated that it has recovered and returned the monies to all the affected foreign workers.
The divisional director at MOM’s foreign manpower management division, Mr Kevin Teoh, said, “The collection of kickbacks is a criminal activity and strong enforcement action will be taken.
“Such illegal practices must be stopped as they undermine the financial well-being of the foreign workers who have no choice but to agree to such arrangements. Errant employers will be barred from employing foreign workers.”
Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, offenders convicted of collecting kickbacks are liable to a fine of up to S$30,000 or jailed up to 2 years, or both, per offence.