The managing director of Sheng Yu Construction Builders Pte Ltd, Sheng Jianzhong, has been found guilty of collecting kickbacks and assaulting a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) officer.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the 40-year old Singapore permanent resident was sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment in the State Courts on Monday.

MOM revealed that from September 2012 to January 2013, 24 workers hired by the accused were each required to pay Sheng a sum of $7,200 as a condition for employment.

"Arising from a complaint by one of the workers, in February 2013, MOM raided the construction site off Jalan Legundi (Sembawang Road)," the report stated.

"During the raid, when an MOM investigation officer tried to collect documentary evidence for investigations, Sheng grabbed the officer’s left arm and thumb to prevent him from doing so. The officer suffered injuries as a result of the scuffle."

Sheng was charged with 38 charges of receiving kickbacks from 24 foreign workers, and one charge of obstruction of justice both under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A).

There was also one charge of use of criminal force to a civil servant under the Penal Code (Chapter 224).

"The Court has also ordered Sheng to pay $169,000 in default three months’ imprisonment in relation to the 13 charges of receiving kickbacks. MOM has also barred him from hiring foreign workers," the statement read.

Last year, 15 employers were convicted of receiving kickbacks, compared to the 17 employers the year before. Since November 2012, the highest fine meted out by the Court was $36,000.

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