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Construction firm director jailed six weeks for collecting kickbacks

  1. On 19 October 2017, a 46-year-old man, Yuan Shungao (“Yuan”), Director of Yuan Chun Contractor Pte Ltd (“company”), was convicted in the State Courts for collecting kickbacks amounting to $3,650 from six foreign workers, as a condition for their continued employment with the company.
  2. Yuan was charged with a total of 21 counts  under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA). He was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment for collecting kickbacks. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has also imposed a ban on both Yuan and the company from employing foreign workers.

    About the Case
  3. The case was uncovered when some of the affected workers approached MOM for assistance in February 2017. Investigations revealed that Yuan, in his capacity as a Director of the company, received a monthly sum of $200 each from two foreign workers between March and July 2016. He also deducted a monthly sum of $150 each from another four workers between April and July 2016, as financial guarantee for their employment.
  4. Yuan told some of the workers that their work passes would not be renewed if they did not pay. In total, Yuan collected kickbacks amounting to $3,650. The monies collected from the foreign workers were returned to them upon MOM’s intervention.

    MOM Takes a Serious View of Kickback Offence
  5. Commenting on the case, Mr Kandhavel Periyasamy, Director of Employment Inspectorate at MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division said, “Demanding kickbacks from foreign workers and threatening to cancel their work pass if they fail to pay is a serious offence. We will take stern action against persons or companies, including barring them from applying for new work passes and renewing their existing work passes. Workers should come forward to MOM early, so that we can investigate the employer and also provide assistance to the workers.”
  6. The collection of kickbacks as a condition or financial guarantee for employment is prohibited under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA). Upon conviction, offenders face a fine of up to $30,000 or imprisonment for up to two years, or both, per charge.

    Advisory from MOM
  7. Foreign workers who are pressured into giving kickbacks should seek help immediately by calling MOM at 6438 5122 or the Migrant Workers’ Centre at 6536 2692

  8. Members of the public who know of persons or employers who contravene the EFMA should report the matter to MOM at 6438 5122 or email to mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Last Updated: 23 October 2017