In the State Courts, Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has charged 37-year-old Indian national Sivasundaram Veeramani, an ex-director of Koa Low Engineering, with 20 counts of submitting false information in work pass applications.
He faced another 16 charges for demanding S$34,500 in criminal kickbacks in return for the foreign employees’ continued employment with the company, and six further charges of engaging in a conspiracy with a Singapore PR to hire foreign workers without valid work passes.
Investigations revealed that between November 2015 and March 2016, Veeramani falsely declared on behalf of the company, the fixed monthly salaries of 20 foreign employees to be at least $4,800 so as to meet the Employment Pass minimum salary requirement - allegedly knowing they would be paid less than what had been declared.
Between September 2015 and February 2016, he demanded sums ranging from $1,500 to $2,200 as kickbacks from 16 foreign employees. The kickbacks have since been returned to most of the affected workers.
Investigations also revealed that the the accused engaged in a conspiracy sometime in May 2014 with a Singapore PR , to employ six foreign workers to work without valid work passes.
Koa Low Engineering was also charged for similar false declaration and kickback offences. In total, the accused and the company faced 42 charges and 36 charges respectively under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA).
The case has been adjourned to 27 April 2017 in Court 23 at 9.00 am.
MOM has affirmed employers submitting false information in work pass applications can be fined up to $20,000 or imprisoned up to two years or to both per charge. For collecting kickbacks, the offender can be fined up to $30,000 or imprisoned up to two years or to both per charge.
Anyone convicted of illegal employment can be fined a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $30,000 or imprisoned for up to one year or both per charge. MOM may also ban the offender and company from employing new foreign workers and not grant any work pass renewals.