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Singaporean Charged For Illegal Importation of Foreign Employees

  1. On 20 February 2020, Zheng Hongteng (“Zheng”), a 33-year-old Singaporean, was charged for multiple offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (“EFMA”).
  2. Zheng faces 139 charges of obtaining passes for 139 foreign workers through four separate sole proprietorships in the construction industry, but failing to employ them. The sole proprietorships were registered by four other individuals, who were paid a monthly sum for facilitating the work pass applications. The workers involved were told before entering Singapore that they would have to source for their own employment. All the offences were carried out between April 2013 and November 2015.
  3. Zheng faces another five charges of failing to pay the salaries of his employees, hired by a separate firm, thus violating the conditions of the work pass.
  4. The case against Zheng will be heard next in Court 4B on 12 March 2020.


  5. Under the EFMA, it is an offence to obtain a work pass for a foreign worker for a trade or business that does not exist, is not in operation or does not require the employment of the foreign worker. The offence is punishable with imprisonment of not less than 6 months and up to 2 years and may also be liable to a fine not exceeding $6,000. Anyone convicted of at least 6 of such offences in the same trial is also liable to be caned.
  6. Members of public who have any information on the potential contravention of the laws under the EFMA should report the matter to MOM via the MOM website ( under “Contact us” or call 6438 5122. All information will be kept strictly confidential.