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Sisters convicted for fraudulently employing foreign workers as beauticians

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Two Singaporean sisters and their two Indian employees have been convicted in Singapore’s State Courts for making false statements in Work Pass applications. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) charged sisters, Leong Chew Peng (Peng, 45) and Leong Chau Yee (Yee, 47) for their false statements to the Controller of Work Passes in September 2014 and in August 2016.

The duo declared in the applications that the foreign employees would be employed as foreign domestic worker (FDW), when there was no such intention, with the plan to make them work as beauticians instead. The two Indian nationals, Lepcha Ritu (aged 33) and Arti (aged 33), were also charged for making false statements to the Controller of Work Passes, and for working without valid work passes.

All four accused persons faced a varying number of charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) – and have been convicted and sentenced in Court yesterday.

Peng was fined S$15,500, in default six weeks’ imprisonment, while Yee was fined S$16,000, in default six weeks’ imprisonment. Ritu was fined S$11,500, in default four weeks’ imprisonment and Arti was fined S$8,000, in default three weeks’ imprisonment.

ALSO READ: Former payroll manager jailed for misappropriating S$1.03 million

In a statement, MOM reiterated the need for all applicants to make accurate, complete and truthful declarations to the Controller of Work Passes in their work pass applications. False declarations can cause employers can be fined up to $20,000 or jailed for up to two years or to both per charge under the EFMA. MOM will also ban the employers from hiring FDWs in future.

Employers remain responsible for ensuring that their workers are issued with valid work passes. Upon conviction, offenders can be fined up between S$5,000 and S$30,000, or jailed for up to 12 months, or to both per charge. Repeat offenders will face harsher punishment, with a mandatory imprisonment term imposed. Foreigners caught working in Singapore without a valid work pass face a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to two years, or to both per charge.

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