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Three Coffeeshop Operators Charged For ‘Phantom’ Worker Offences

Three coffeeshop operators were charged in the Subordinate Court today for falsely declaring the number of local workers employed so as to inflate their foreign worker entitlement. They joined 18 others in facing more than 700 charges. Four have been convicted and received custodial sentences ranging from six to 16 months.

2.   Pam Yoon Chung, director of Mabo Holdings Pte Ltd (Block 643 Bukit Batok Central) faces 15 charges. Ho Chin Lai, director of Li Soon Food Court Pte Ltd (Block 158 Bukit Batok Street 11), faces 26 charges. Soh Seng Thiam, manager of Jurong Café Pte Ltd which operates two coffeeshops at Block 134 Jurong East Street 13 and Block 829 Tampines Street 81, faces 14 charges.

Enforcement Operations Will Continue

3.   Mr Aw Kum Cheong, Divisional Director of the Foreign Manpower Management Division said: “Our internal screening processes continue to surface suspicious employers. More members of the public are also coming forward with information to assist MOM. MOM will continue to pursue such cases aggressively to stamp out the practice. Employers should note the severe penalties handed down by the courts, and recognise that it is not worth the risk of getting involved in such scams.”

4.   Employers who have resorted to 'phantom' workers should immediately stop doing so. They should employ genuine local workers or cancel the work permits of their existing foreign workers to ensure compliance with foreign worker quotas. If they choose to continue with such fraudulent conduct, they will face the full consequences of the law.

5.   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. Besides the employer, the 'phantom' worker may also face prosecution for abetting the offence.

6.   MOM urges anyone with specific information on such offences to contact MOM at (65) 6438 5122 or via email at mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg.