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Company director charged for collecting kickbacks, making false salary declarations, illegal employment of foreign workers and failing to pay salaries

  1. Chen Shiqi (“Chen”), a 54-year-old director of San Tong Engineering Pte Ltd (“the company”), has been charged by the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) for multiple offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (“EFMA”) and Employment Act (“EA”).
  2. The 66 charges levied against Chen include collecting kickbacks from foreign workers employed by the company, making false declaration of salaries during the work pass application process, illegally employing foreign workers, and failing to pay salaries to employees.
  3. Investigations revealed that Chen demanded sums of monies from foreign employees on multiple occasions as consideration for employment by the company. As a Director of the company, Chen also made false statements to the Controller of Work Passes in the submission of three Work Permit application forms.
  4. Additionally, it was uncovered that Chen had illegally employed foreign workers after their work permits had been revoked. This came to light when a number of the company’s foreign employees approached MOM to lodge a complaint regarding salary defaults against the company.
  5. The case against Chen will be heard again in Court 4B on 4 February 2020 at 9.30am.

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  6. Under the EFMA, any person caught employing a foreign worker without a valid work pass is punishable with a fine between $5,000 and $30,000, or imprisonment, for up to 1 year or both. For making a false statement or providing false information in any application or renewal of a work pass, the penalty is a fine up to $20,000, or imprisonment for up to 2 years, or both. Receiving money in connection with an employment of a foreign employee is punishable with a fine of up to $30,000, or imprisonment for up to 2 years or both.
  7. Employers are also reminded of their obligations and responsibilities to their employees. Under EA, any employer who fails to pay salary shall be liable to a fine of not less than $3,000 and not more than $15,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.
  8. Members of public who have any information on EFMA and EA infringements should report the matter to MOM via the MOM website ( under “Contact us” or call 6438 5122. All information will be kept strictly confidential.