Skip to main content

Construction Firm Managing Director Jailed and Fined for Collecting Kickbacks and Assaulting MOM Officer

  1. A 40-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident, Sheng Jianzhong (盛建忠), the Managing Director of Sheng Yu Construction Builders Pte Ltd was sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment and fined $169,000 in the State Courts on Monday, 6 April 2015. Sheng was charged with 38 charges of receiving kickbacks from 24 foreign workers, one charge of obstruction of justice both under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A), and one charge of use of criminal force to a civil servant under the Penal Code (Chapter 224). The total amount of kickbacks received amounted to $85,380. Prosecution proceeded with 13 charges of receiving kickbacks and one charge of use of criminal force to a civil servant. The remaining charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

    Case Details
  2. From September 2012 to January 2013, 24 workers hired by the accused were each required to pay Sheng a sum of $7,200 as a condition for employment.
  3. Arising from a complaint by one of the workers, in February 2013, MOM raided the construction site off Jalan Legundi (Sembawang Road). During the raid, when an MOM investigation officer tried to collect documentary evidence for investigations, Sheng grabbed the officer’s left arm and thumb to prevent him from doing so. The officer suffered injuries as a result of the scuffle.

  4. Sheng was sentenced to a total of three weeks’ imprisonment for use of criminal force on a civil servant. The Court has also ordered Sheng to pay $169,000 in default three months’ imprisonment in relation to the 13 charges of receiving kickbacks. MOM has also barred him from hiring foreign workers.

    Clamping down on kickbacks
  5. Separately, in March this year, 45-year-old Singaporean, Geng Shuzhen was convicted in Court on three charges of receiving kickbacks. Eighteen other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing. She was fined a total of $15,000, in default six weeks’ imprisonment.
  6. In 2014, 15 employers were convicted of receiving kickbacks as compared to 17 employers in 2013. The highest fine meted out by the Court since November 2012 was $36,000.
  7. Commenting on the case, Mr Kevin Teoh (张庆兴), Divisional Director of MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division (人力部外来人力管理署署长) said, “We take a serious view of employers who collect kickbacks as it further increases the debt burden of foreign workers, and is detrimental to their well-being. We will continue to clamp down on such practices as in the case of Sheng Jianzhong. With respect to using criminal force on a civil servant, perpetrators can expect the force of the law to be applied.”
  8. Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, most monies collected from foreign workers will be deemed as employment kickbacks, unless the purposes for which they are collected can be properly accounted for. Offenders found guilty of the offence can be imprisoned for up to two years, or fined a maximum of $30,000, or both.