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For conducting unlicensed employment agency (EA) activities, Roy Tapon Kumar, a 36-year-old Bangladeshi foreign worker, was convicted and fined $30,000 in default six months’ imprisonment.
A statement by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed Kumar also faced two other charges of instigating two foreign workers to make false statements to an employment inspector from MOM by telling them not to reveal that he collected agency fees from them. These two charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing when he pleaded guilty to one charge under Section 6(2) of the Employment Agencies Act (EAA) on 21 November.
According to MOM, individuals who perform EA activities without a valid EA licence can be fined up to $80,000, or imprisoned for up to two years, or to both, per charge.
MOM’s investigations found that despite not having a valid EA license, Kumar conducted EA activities in connection with the employment of 12 foreign workers from Bangladesh between October 2015 to March 2016.
He collected agency fees of between S$1,800 and S$7,300 from each worker for his services – these include forwarding copies of their passports and biodata to a hiring company Bee Teck International; and forwarding the In-Principle Approval and security bond letters behalf of the company upon their successful employment. In addition to these services, Kumar also arranged for a foreigner to attend a job interview with the company.
The foreigners paid Kumar either directly, or through the their friends and relatives, or via a Bangladeshi bank transfer.
In total, Kumar collected a sum of $30,900 as agency fees.
Commenting on the successful conviction, Jeanette Har, director, well-being department at MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said: “Work pass holders are not allowed to be involved in illegal employment agent activities. On top of stiff penalties, work pass holders who break the law, will have their work passes revoked, and face employment debarment.”
Har also advised that foreigners who seek employment should only use a licensed EA and verify the EA through the MOM EA Directory.
From 2015 to the first half 2017, a total of 15 persons were convicted for conducting EA activities without a valid licence.
Photo / 123RF