Skip to main content

Foreign worker fined $30,000 for conducting unlicensed employment agency activities

  1. On 21 November 2017, a 36-year-old Bangladeshi foreign worker Roy Tapon Kumar (“Roy”) was convicted and fined $30,000 in default six months’ imprisonment for conducting employment agency (“EA”) activities without a valid EA licence. He pleaded guilty to one charge under Section 6(2) of the Employment Agencies Act (EAA).
  2. Roy also faced two other charges of instigating two foreign workers to make false statements to an employment inspector from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), by telling the workers not to reveal that he collected agency fees from them. These two charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.

About the Case

  1. Investigations found that from October 2015 to March 2016, Roy conducted EA activities in connection with the employment of 12 foreign workers from Bangladesh, despite not having a valid EA licence.
  2. He contacted the foreigners and asked them to send him copies of their passports and biodata, which he subsequently forwarded to a hiring company Bee Teck International Pte Ltd (“the company”). Upon successful employment of these workers, Roy forwarded the In-Principle Approval1 and security bond2 letters on behalf of the company to the hired foreign workers. In addition to these services, he also arranged for a foreigner to attend a job interview with the company.
  3. For providing these services to the foreigners, Roy collected between $1,800 and $7,300 as agency fees from each of them. The monies were paid to Roy either directly, or through the foreigners’ friends and relatives, or via a Bangladeshi bank transfer. In total, Roy collected a sum of $30,900 as agency fees.

Foreign Workers Must Not Get Involved in Unlicensed EA Activities

  1. Commenting on the successful conviction, Ms Jeanette Har, Director, Well-Being Department at MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said, “Work pass holders are not allowed to be involved in illegal employment agent activities. On top of stiff penalties, work pass holders who break the law, will have their work passes revoked, and face employment debarment. Foreigners who seek employment should only use a licensed EA and they should verify the EA through the MOM EA Directory.”
  2. From 2015 to the first half 2017, a total of 15 persons were convicted for conducting EA activities without a valid licence.

Advisory from MOM

  1. Individuals who perform EA activities without a valid EA licence can be fined up to $80,000, or imprisoned for up to two years, or to both, per charge. Members of the public should use the EA Directory3 to check if a person or company is registered and licensed by MOM to perform EA work.
  2. Members of the public who have any information on unlicensed EA activities should report the matter to MOM at or call 6438 5122. All information will be kept strictly confidential.


  1. An in-principle approval (IPA) is one of the requirements for getting foreign workers into Singapore, and an IPA letter is issued when the work permit application is approved.
  2. A security bond (SB) is an undertaking by employers to send back their foreign workers upon termination of the employment. The main objective of a SB is to ensure proper sending back of foreign workers brought in by the employers. Employers who fail to send back their foreign workers will risk the forfeiture of their SB.
  3. The EA Directory can be accessed at