Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has reported that Rahman FR Mostafizur (“Rahman”) has pleaded guilty to a charge under s 35(2)(f) for fraudulently making a claim under the Work Injury Compensation Act (Chapter 354) (“WICA”).
The Bangladeshi national was convicted and sentenced to eight weeks’ jail for the offence, a press release from MOM stated.
It added that a second charge under s 35(2)(c) of the WICA for making a false statement to an Investigation Officer was taken into consideration for the purposes of sentencing.
Additionally, Rahman was sentenced to three weeks’ jail for overstaying in Singapore, an offence under s15(1) of the Immigration Act.
MOM revealed that on 12 February 2014, Rahman, a Marine Trades worker, filed a Work Injury Compensation (WIC) claim against his employer for alleged injuries to his left little finger.
He claimed that part of it was severed while he was operating a band saw machine during work and that he informed his supervisor of the accident.
However, upon investigating, MOM found Rahman’s claim was fraudulent as the alleged accident did not take place and Rahman did not suffer any injury at work.
"Contrary to Rahman's claims, investigation showed that Rahman’s hand was not injured when he left the worksite and none of the supervisors or co-workers working in close proximity to him were aware of the alleged accident," the press release stated.
MOM then proceeded to prosecute Rahman for knowingly making a fraudulent claim under the WICA and for furnishing false information to the MOM investigation officer.
Rahman is the first worker this year to be prosecuted for committing offences under the WICA. Three foreign workers were prosecuted for similar offences in 2015.
"MOM takes a very serious view of fraudulent claims. In instances when the veracity of claims are suspicious and questionable, MOM will conduct investigations into the claims," said Kee Ee Wah, director of MOM’s Work Injury Compensation Department.
"Such investigations and subsequent prosecution actions take up considerable time and resources, which could have been better spent on assisting genuine claimants. MOM will not hesitate to take tough action against fraudulent claimants who try to abuse the system for their own gains.”