SS Scuba Pte Ltd was ordered to pay a total fine of S$14,000 for carrying on the business of a travel agent without a valid travel agent licence in contravention of Section 6(1) of the Travel Agents Act (Chapter 334), the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in a statement on Wednesday (28 November).
The company faced 50 charges and was convicted and sentenced on 10 charges on Wednesday, while the remaining 40 charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.
SS Scuba's travel agent licence ceased in March 2014. However, investigations revealed that despite not having a valid travel agent licence, SS Scuba continued to operate by selling and arranging trips to various overseas destinations from January 2015 to July 2016.
STB stressed that it takes a serious view against unlicensed travel agents and is committed to uphold the reputation of Singapore's tourism sector, and will not hesitate to take necessary action against those who contravened the legislation.
Under Section 6 of the pre-amended Travel Agents Act, which this case falls under, any person found guilty of carrying on the business of a travel agent without a valid travel agent licence faces a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to two years. Under the amended Travel Agents Act that took effect on 1 January 2018, commission of the same offence now will carry a higher maximum fine of $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to two years.
The authority advised public to exercise due diligence when making travel arrangements. For the latest list of licensed travel agents in Singapore, please visit the Travel Related Users' System (TRUST) website.