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MOM fines Singaporean fashion house for lying about staff salaries

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Yet another company in Singapore has been found guilty of falsely declaring salaries of foreign employees in order to obtain work passes.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Yen Ser Ming, the executive director of local fashion house, Yen’s Studio, was convicted in court on 14 July 2016, and was sentenced to a fine of $72,000 in default 18 months’ imprisonment.

The 61-year-old Singaporean woman has pleaded guilty to nine charges involving the making of false declarations relating to the foreign employees’ salaries in work pass applications submitted to MOM, as well as abetting the submission of the same false declarations to MOM in their subsequent renewal applications.

MOM has also barred the company from hiring foreign employees.

“Investigations revealed that between December 2010 and June 2013, Yen, in her capacity as the company’s executive director, falsely declared to MOM the salaries of nine foreign employees to meet the minimum salary requirement required to apply and renew S Passes,” MOM stated.

It added that between October 2013 and October 2015, Yen also instigated the company’s operations manager to falsely declare the salaries to renew S Passes of the same nine foreign employees, as well as to apply S Passes for two additional foreign employees.

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“However, she knew that all the foreign employees would be receiving actual salaries that were lower than the salaries declared to MOM. The foreign employees were paid the declared salaries of between $1,800 and $2,600 monthly through GIRO. However, they had to return monthly amounts of between $500 and $1,300 in cash to the company.”

MOM revealed that based on the false information provided to the controller of work passes, the 27 S Pass applications and renewals (11 new applications and 16 renewal applications) were approved and the S Passes were issued to the foreign employees.

Commenting on the case, Kandhavel Periyasamy, director of employment inspectorate of MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said: “Falsifying salary information to mislead the Ministry to grant S Passes and Employment Passes is a serious offence. We will take stern action against persons or companies, including barring them from applying for new work passes and renewing their existing work passes.”

Since 2014, a total of 58 employers have been convicted for false declaration of salary offences.

Image: 123rf

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