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Illegal Labour Supply Syndicate Smashed

Joint MOM-SPF operation results in 4 people facing more than 200 charges

A joint operation over several months, between the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), resulted in the dismantling of an illegal labour supply syndicate. Four persons were charged in the Subordinate Courts yesterday (8 April 2009) for various offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA). One of the accused persons, Shamsul Hoque s/o Abdur Rahim, a work permit holder, is believed to be a key player in this syndicate. The other three are Singaporean employers.

Joint operation led to arrests and prosecutions

2.   The joint operation culminated on 7 Apr 2009, in a series of raids in various residential premises, including a flat in Sin Ming Road housing work permit holders, and an office in Golden Wall Centre (Short Street).

3.   Investigations revealed that the three Singaporeans were paid monthly salaries to front three companies used to recruit foreign workers from Bangladesh, India and China. Around 100 foreign workers were brought in, the majority of whom were illegally deployed to other companies or were told to find their own employment. The syndicate collected money regularly from the companies where the workers were deployed, or from the workers themselves, in order to pay the foreign worker levy.

 

 

Table: List of Persons Charged on 8 Apr 2009

Person Charged, Designation and Age

 

Company

Sector

Number of charges under EFMA

Shamsul Hoque s/o Abdur Rahim,
a Bangladeshi national holding a work permit

 

40 years old

An employee of Weicom Contractors, but is believed to be the organiser of the syndicate. 

 

Construction

125

- 96 for abetting Sim, Ong and Choo in their respective charges

- 27 for contravening work pass conditions relating to levy collection

- 2 for engaging in a business/trade without a valid work pass.

 

Ong Hock Beng

Manager

 

41 years old

Excel Image

Construction

36

- Failure to supervise and control 36 foreign workers under his charge

 

Sim Thiam Huat

Sole Proprietor

 

52 years old

Weicom Contractors

Construction

42

- 21 for providing false information by declaring that he was the official employer of 21 foreign workers

 

- 21 for failure to supervise and control 21 foreign workers under his charge

 

Choo Yam Siah

(朱炎城)

Sole proprietor

 

56 years old

Unison Management Services

 

Marine

18

- 9 for providing false information by declaring that he was the official employer of 9 foreign workers

 

- 9 for failure to supervise and control 9 workers under his charge

 

 

4.   Mr Aw Kum Cheong, Divisional Director of the Foreign Manpower Management Division said: “The success of the joint operation bears testament to the close inter-agency collaboration between MOM and the police. In this particular case, we see a foreign national involved in bringing his own countrymen into Singapore, in breach of our laws. We want to reiterate that anyone, whether local or foreign, who breaks our employment laws will be dealt with severely.”

5.   Under the EFMA, employers who contravene any of the conditions of the work pass face a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or both. For illegal employment, a first time offender faces a fine up to $15,000 or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, for each worker. They will also have to repay levy evaded. Any person who provides false or misleading information to the Controller of Work Passes or an employment inspector also faces a fine not exceeding $15,000 and/or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.