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Man charged for collecting kickbacks and defaulting salaries, totalling more than $96,000

  1. On 31 October 2017, a 35-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident, Chen Quan (“Chen”), Director of Hong Lu Engineering Pte Ltd and Managing Director of Trusty Aluminium Pte Ltd (“companies”), was charged in the State Courts for kickback offences. He had collected more than $64,000 from 21 foreign workers, as a condition for their employment with the company. In addition, Chen was charged for failure to pay workers’ salaries amounting to more than $32,000.
  2. Chen faces 21 counts for kickback offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (“EFMA”) and 45 counts for failure to pay salaries under the Employment Act (“EA”). His foreign employee, 29-year-old Bangladeshi Monir Hossain Abdul Malek (“Monir”), was also charged with 21 counts under the EFMA for abetting Chen to collect the kickbacks. Monir was then employed as a construction worker under Hong Lu Engineering Pte Ltd.

About the Case

  1. The case was uncovered when some of the affected workers approached MOM for assistance in September 2016. Investigations revealed that Chen, in his capacity as a Director of Hong Lu Engineering Pte Ltd, received a monthly sum of between $2,500 and $3,600 from his foreign workers between May 2015 and February 2016. As the Managing Director of Trusty Aluminium Pte Ltd, Chen had allegedly received a monthly sum of between $2,500 and $4,000 between September 2015 and July 2016. All kickback monies totalling $64,600 were collected by Monir, purportedly under Chen’s instructions. Investigations also revealed that Chen had failed to pay basic salaries and overtime pay to 10 foreign workers, amounting to more than $32,000.

Penalties

  1. The collection of kickbacks as a condition or financial guarantee for employment is prohibited under the EFMA. Upon conviction, accused persons may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine of up to $30,000, or both, per charge. For the offence of abetting the collection of kickbacks, offenders will face the same penalties.
  2. If convicted under the EA for failure to pay workers’ salaries, accused persons may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to six months, or a fine of up to $15,000, or both, per charge.

Advisory from MOM

  1. Foreign workers who are pressured into giving kickbacks should seek help immediately by calling MOM at 6438 5122 or the Migrant Workers’ Centre at 6536 2692.
  2. Members of the public who know of persons or employers who contravene the EFMA or EA, should report the matter to MOM at 6438 5122. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Last Updated: 03 November 2017