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MOM takes claims of In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter fraud seriously

TWC2 wrote that Sarowar (not his real name) had his In-Principle-Approval (IPA) letter fraudulently amended to show a lower salary than what was offered to him. It also claimed that MOM was not interested in following up on reported violations.

MOM’s records showed that Sarowar’s real name is Rahman Shablur. We have investigated the case and found that the above allegations were untrue.

Claim: MOM refused to “open case” and took no interest when Rahman went to MOM to lodge a report.
Fact: MOM investigated Rahman’s case despite a lack of basic information. When Rahman approached MOM on 15 Aug 2017 to lodge a report, he was not able to provide basic information such as the email that had the fake IPA, contact details of the so-called agent “Hamidul” whom he had passed the agency fees to, and the correct contact number of “Khaleque” who had passed him the allegedly fake IPA.

Despite the lack of such basic information, we still proceeded to investigate Rahman’s case, and recorded a statement from Rahman with an interpreter present.

Claim: Rahman was given an IPA letter with a stated salary of $800
Fact: MOM’s investigations showed that a work pass application was made for Rahman with a stated salary of $500 on 29 July 2017, and no amendments were made to the salary in the IPA letter after that. We checked with Rahman’s employer, Best Source Construction Pte Ltd, who confirmed that an authentic IPA letter with a stated salary of $500 was given to Rahman a week before his flight and not on the actual day of his flight.

The IPA salary of $500 offered to Rahman was within the range of salaries that he had been earning in Singapore with his CoreTrade certification, working for several employers with breaks between contracts. Rahman’s expectation to earn a monthly salary of at least $800 a month is thus not supported by his own working experience in Singapore.

No information to suggest that there was fraud
Even though there was a lack of basic information, MOM still proceeded to investigate the employer and workers in the company to check if there were instances where IPA letters were fraudulently amended. We did not find any.

MOM will prosecute offenders who alter IPA letters or Work Pass cards unlawfully
It is an offence to alter an IPA letter or Work Pass card. We will prosecute such offenders, who may face fines of up to $20,000 and/or jail terms of up to two years or to both. Anyone with information on such offenders should report them to MOM at mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg or call +65 6438 5122. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Foreign workers who are victims of such fraud or need help to check on the authenticity of their IPA letters can contact MOM as above, or their respective embassies/high commissions.

This is yet another article by TWC2 that alleges facts that are later shown to be untrue. This is not truthful advocacy. We urge them to play a more constructive role in helping workers and to listen to all sides of the story, rather than to publish inaccurate and one-sided accounts.