The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is investigating retail giant Mustafa Centre, registered as Mohamed Mustafa and Samsuddin Co, for alleged employment offences.

An MOM spokesperson has confirmed to Human Resources over the phone the company is being investigated following several complaints against it recently.

In a statement to The New Paper (TNP) on Sunday, an MOM spokesman said: "MOM has received complaints that Mohamed Mustafa and Samsuddin Co may have infringed the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Investigations are ongoing."

No further elaboration on complaints has been given. However, TNP understands the probe on the company is not limited to specific violations but covers offences under the entire Act.

Offences under the Act include work pass violations and receiving of kickbacks.

According to a report by The Online Citizen (TOC) on Friday, Abdul Haq Siddique, a former senior sales executive in the store's jewellery department, alleged that Mustafa Centre's HR department had been collecting "cashbacks" from employees.

In the report, he was quoted saying that he had to go to HR to give back S$600 to S$1,000 after his monthly salary was credited to his bank account. He added that the amount to be returned depended on how much he earned in overtime that month.

He claimed that he was not the only worker who had to give back part of his salary and said the practice stopped in October last year after the Mustafa families became embroiled in a legal dispute.

TOC also reported that Mustafa had stopped renewing S-passes in May this year, affecting about 100 foreign employees.

MOM has issued Special Passes to affected workers so that they can remain here to assist in investigations, TOC said.

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