MOM Prosecutes Employer For Falsely Declaring Number of Locals Hired To Qualify For More Foreign Workers
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is prosecuting Sambnani Anil Pritamdas, owner of Spize - the Makan Place, for making false declarations in 15 Work Pass applications from February 2007 to March 2008. He is alleged to have falsely declared in Work Permit applications that Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions were paid to Singaporeans that were purportedly employed by him when in fact they were allegedly not1
. MOM is currently investigating several other similar cases.
Findings of Investigations
2. MOM commenced investigations into the company in April 2008. Sambnani Anil Pritamdas faces 10 charges for making false declarations and another five charges for abetting his brother and manager to make false declarations.
Making False Declaration in Work Pass Application is an Offence
3. Mr Aw Kum Cheong, Divisional Director of the Foreign Manpower Management Division, MOM said: “Under the Work Pass framework, employers have to employ a certain number of local workers before they can apply to employ foreign workers. This is to prevent employers from over-relying on foreign workers at the expense of local workers. The payment of CPF contributions to such ‘phantom' workers is a serious breach of the integrity of our Work Pass framework and creates an unequal playing field by disadvantaging law-abiding employers. Therefore, the Ministry will investigate and prosecute such cases and on conviction, bar employers from employing foreign workers.”
4. Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, inflating the foreign worker entitlement by falsely declaring the number of local workers is punishable with a fine of up to $15,000, or 12 months imprisonment, or both. Anyone who colludes with an employer by providing his particulars for use in making fraudulent CPF contributions in order to meet the requirements of Work Permit applications may also be charged for abetting the offence.
Since January 2007, a further measure was introduced to require that an employer who makes a Work Permit application has to certify that his firm's CPF accounts only include contributions made to persons actively employed by his firm. The employer is therefore told specifically that the CPF accounts are used by the Controller of Work Passes for the purpose of determining the dependency ceiling for foreign workforce.