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Four Prosecuted for Kickback Offences in Relation to 22 Workers

Three employers and an employment agent have been prosecuted for kickback offences. In the first prosecution for kickback offences, three employers were charged for recovering employment-related costs1 from their foreign workers. The employment agent was charged for paying inducements to employers to hire foreign workers through her agency. The four cases involved 22 workers.

2. The prosecutions follow new regulations introduced by the Ministry of Manpower in July 2008. Under the regulations, Work Permit and S Pass conditions prohibit employers from receiving payment as consideration for employing foreign workers, and recovering employment-related costs from foreign workers. Similarly, the Employment Agency Licence Condition also prohibits employment agencies from offering payment (whether monetary or in kind) to employers, in exchange for hiring foreign workers through them.

3. Ong Gim Chua, manager of Meeting Point Pub & Lounge was charged today (16 July) and faces 10 charges for abetting the employer to recover levy and security deposit costs from 10 foreign workers. Ke Koon Seng, director of Seng System Engineering Pte Ltd, was charged for making salary deductions from his foreign worker as a consideration for employment.

4. The third employer and the employment agent were earlier charged on 25 June 2009. Wong Seng Kiong of Guo Tai Mei Trading, faces seven counts of recovering levy from foreign workers. Sun Bao Hua of Starseas Consulting Services Pte Ltd faces four counts of abetting representatives of four bus companies to receive benefits by paying them to hire foreign workers through her agency.

Engaging in such malpractices is an offence

5. Aw Kum Cheong, Divisional Director, Foreign Manpower Management Division, MOM, said, "Kickbacks undermine the integrity of the employment agency industry, and distorts the market for foreign labour. Our foreign worker policies are intended to help companies to meet their legitimate need for foreign workers. Foreign workers should not be brought into Singapore in order to collect fees from them. Such exploitative behaviour will not be tolerated."

6. Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, employers who breach Work Permit conditions can be fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to six months. They will also be barred from employing foreign workers in the future. Employment agencies that breach the Employment Agency licence conditions will have their licenses revoked and security deposit of $20,000 forfeited.

7. Anyone with specific information on kickback offences should contact MOM at (65) 6438 5122 or email at

1 Please refer to Press Release on Kickbacks 160709 - Annex.pdf for details.