Five individuals convicted for illegally employing foreign workers at temporary fairs
Ker Eng Kiat (“Eng Kiat”), a 52-year-old male Singaporean and his brother, Ker Eng Hock (“Eng Hock”), a 53-year-old Singaporean, have been convicted for illegal employment offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act 1990 (EFMA). Eng Kiat, who was previously convicted in 2013 for illegal employment offences, was sentenced today to one months’ imprisonment and a fine of $23,000 (in default 46 days’ imprisonment) for illegally employing five foreign workers without valid work passes. Eng Hock was convicted and sentenced on 7 September 2023 to a $6,000 fine for illegally employing one foreign worker without a valid work pass.
2 In a separate case, Tan Hoe Soon (“Tan”), a 70-year-old male Singaporean, and Ker Yong Sen (“Yong Sen”), a 41-year-old male Singaporean and younger brother of Eng Kiat and Eng Hock, were convicted for engaging in a conspiracy to hire two foreign workers without valid work passes. Tan and Yong Sen were sentenced on 14 and 19 Sep 2023 respectively to a fine of $8,500 each.
3 In a third case, Sao Wei Loon ("Sao”), a 47-year-old male Singaporean, was convicted and sentenced on 3 October 2023 to two months’ imprisonment and a fine of $45,000 (in default three months’ imprisonment) for illegally employing 11 foreign workers without valid work passes.
4 All 19 foreign workers who were employed by the five individuals mentioned above have been barred from working in Singapore.
Eng Kiat and Eng Hock
5 Officers from the Ministry of Manpower ( MOM) conducted an inspection at the Geylang Serai Bazaar on 4 April 2023. Investigations revealed that both Eng Kiat and Eng Hock had rented food stalls at the Bazaar between March and April 2023. During the period of rental, they had employed six foreigners as stall assistants. Their job scopes included the preparation and sale of food products, as well as the collection of cash from customers. The six foreign workers were on social visit passes and did not have valid work passes to work as stall assistants. These foreign workers were not provided proper lodging by Eng Kiat and Eng Hock. Some of the foreign workers had slept on the floor of the food stalls stall they worked at, after the stalls closed for the day.
Tan and Yong Sen
6 MOM officers conducted separate inspections at the Ang Mo Kio Pasar Malam on 31 March and 4 April 2023. Investigations revealed that both Tan and Yong Sen had rented a food stall at the Ang Mo Kio Pasar Malam from March to April 2023. They hired two foreign workers as food stall assistants to prepare and sell food products, as well as the collection of cash from customers. Both foreign workers were on social visit passes and did not have valid work passes to work as stall assistants. Similar to the first case, these foreign workers were not provided proper lodging by Tan and Yong Sen.
7 MOM officers also conducted an earlier inspection on 26 October 2022 at a temporary fair located outside Hillion Mall. Investigations revealed that Sao had rented food stalls to sell food products at the fair in October 2022. Sao eventually hired 11 foreign workers who were on social visit passes and did not apply for work passes for any of them.
8 Under the EFMA, any person who employs a foreign worker without a valid work pass is liable on conviction to a fine of at least $5,000 and not more than $30,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both. On a second or subsequent conviction, an individual is liable to be punished with a fine of at least $10,000, and not more than $30,000 and imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than 12 months.
9 Members of the public who are aware of suspicious employment activities, or who know of persons or employers who contravene the EFMA, should report the matter to MOM at 64385122 or email@example.com. All information will be kept strictly confidential.