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Four Individuals Convicted for Operating Employment Agencies without a Licence

Four individuals, who are family members and former licensees of different employment agencies (EAs), were convicted on 19 May 2022, 7 July 2022 and 4 August 2022 respectively for multiple offences under the Employment Agencies Act (EAA) and Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA).


2          Following the conviction, all four individuals will be debarred from operating in the EA industry permanently[1]. The EAs, their licensees and the respective sentencing outcomes are as follows.



Employment Agency


Sentencing outcomes


Des Ressources

Iris Tan (“Iris”)

Fined $45,000 (in default 107 days’ imprisonment)


K&E Ressources

Kiff Tan (“Kiff”)

Fined $32,500 (in default 55 days’ imprisonment)




Compensation order of $7,534.41 (in default 1 weeks’ imprisonment)


International Ressources

Grace Tan (“Grace”)

Fined $32,500 (in default 57 days’ imprisonment)


Paul Network Pte. Ltd.

(“Paul Network”)

Teo Swee Ling, Pauline (“Pauline”)

Fined $2,500 (in default ten days’ imprisonment)



Case details


3          Investigations by the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) revealed that all four individuals had performed or abetted the conduct of illegal EA activities:


  • Iris and Kiff had facilitated the employment of two and one Work Permit Holders (“WPHs”) respectively when they no longer held an EA licence.
  • Grace had allowed Iris to use her EA’s account to make work permit applications. Grace also serviced a former client under Pauline’s EA, performing EA work there without being registered.
  • Iris and Kiff had also overcharged two WPHs of agency fees, by $1,172.49 and $7,538.41.

Advisory to employers and employment agencies

4 Operating an EA without a licence is a serious offence. Offenders can be fined up to $80,000 or jailed for up to two years, or both. EA operators who have been convicted of any criminal offence, or have contravened the EAA or licence conditions can have their licences revoked. Anyone who abets an unlicenced EA may also be liable for the same penalties.

5 To protect work pass holders, Singapore EAs are allowed to collect no more than one month of a worker’s monthly salary for each year of service, capped at two months’ salary. EAs who do not comply with the EAA or Employment Agency Licence Conditions can face a fine up to $5,000. Those who re-offend may also be jailed for up to six months.

6 Members of the public who have any information on unlicenced EA activities, or are aware of EAs that are overcharging agency fees, should report the matter to MOM at All information will be kept strictly confidential.


  1. Please refer to the court documents on the breakdown of charges against the companies and their key appointment holders.