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First Unlicensed Agent Convicted under the Revised Employment Agencies Act (EAA)

31 January 2012

  1. A 30-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident, De Luna Noriza Dancel (“De Luna”), was fined $50,000 today for operating as an unlicensed employment agent (EA), among other offences as listed in Table A below. She is the first unlicensed EA to be convicted as a principal offender under the revised Employment Agencies Act (EAA), which came into effect in April last year. She was also convicted for employing her Filipino husband, Caladiao William Tolentino (“William”), without a valid work pass. Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA), for employing a foreign employee without a valid work pass, she was fined $2,500.

    Charges faced by De Luna
    Table A
     S/N Charges Proceeded / Taken into Consideration 
     1. Section 6(1) Employment Agencies Act (Chapter 92), for carrying on the activities of an unlicensed employment agency.  Proceeded
     2. Section 6(1) read with Section 28A, for carrying on the activities of an unlicensed employment agency as a corporate person (as a director of NWCD). Taken into Consideration
     3. Section 5(1) Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A), for employing a foreign employee (William) without a valid work pass.  Proceeded
  2. 35-year-old William was fined $20,000 on 19 January 2012 for abetting De Luna in her illegal employment activities. He also faced another charge of working without a valid work pass as listed in Table B below.

    Charges faced by William
    Table B

    S/N   Charges Proceeded / Taken into Consideration  
     1. Section 6(1) read with Section 28B of the Employment Agencies Act (Chapter 92), for abetting De Luna in her unlicensed employment agency activities.  Proceeded
     2. Section 5(2) Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A), for working without a valid work pass. Taken into Consideration

    Facts of the case
  3. De Luna was issued with a licence to operate an employment agency (EA), RSD Consultancy & Services Pte Ltd (“RSD”) in July 2010. While she was a licensee and a Director of RSD, she set up another EA three months later - NWCD Consultancy & Services Pte Ltd (“NWCD”) - with her husband, William, without obtaining a licence for NWCD. De Luna enlisted the help of William, who was in Singapore on a social visit pass then, to run the illegal EA. William assisted De Luna by posting job advertisements, sourcing for prospective employers and employees, and collecting agency fees, among other duties, between December 2010 and December 2011.
  4. De Luna’s licence for RSD expired in July 2011, but was not renewed as she was being investigated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for operating NWCD as an unlicensed EA. Despite being under investigation, she carried on with her unlicensed EA activities. In flagrant breach of the law, De Luna set up another EA, Impact Manpower Pte Ltd (“Impact”) without a valid licence in July 2011. To avoid detection by MOM, she conspired with a HR Manager, Tan Hai Hung (陈海涵) to assist her in operating Impact and to replace her with Tan’s wife as a Director for Impact in order to apply for a licence for the EA, which was subsequently granted on 18 November 2011. However, from July 2011, De Luna had continued with the unlicensed EA activities before Impact was issued with a licence. During this time, online applications for work passes for the foreign workers sourced by De Luna were made with the help of a licensed EA.
  5. De Luna’s involvement in Impact was investigated into following a query from a member of public, and she was arrested with William on 13 December 2011. MOM had, on 15 December 2011, also charged Tan Hai Hung (陈海涵), for abetment in conspiring with De Luna in her unlicensed EA activities. His case will be mentioned at a later date. MOM is also taking action against the EA which allegedly helped De Luna to make online work pass applications.

    Weeding out unlicensed agents
  6. Mr Aw Kum Cheong (区锦章), Commissioner for Employment Agencies (雇佣代理总监), MOM, said, "One of the ways to professionalising the EA industry is to weed out unlicensed EAs, and the new EA Regulatory Framework provides for severe penalties to deal with such EAs. Licensed EAs who abet the activities of illegal EAs will have their licence suspended and revoked. They will also be barred from running an EA. Such EAs – licensed and unlicensed - undermine the credibility of the EA industry. MOM will continue to step up enforcement and take strong punitive actions against those who act against the law, and undermine the integrity of the work pass framework.”
  7. Under the revised EAA, a Filipino, Jeraldine Pagulayan Tuliao, 39, was fined $20,000 on 10 November 2011 for abetting an unlicensed employment agent, Chua Mei Chern, in her illegal EA activities. MOM has charged Chua Mei Chern for operating as an unlicensed employment agent, and her case will be heard in court at a later date.

    Use Only Licensed Employment Agents
  8. The public are advised to use only MOM-licensed employment agents for their employment needs. To protect their interests, they are encouraged to verify the legitimacy of the EA through the EA Directory on the MOM website at Members of the public who are aware of any individuals or EAs that are operating without a licence should contact MOM at Tel: (65)6438 5122 or email All information will be kept strictly confidential.