An unlicensed employment agent, 51-year-old Singaporean Lim Soo Chye was convicted in Singapore's state courts, for placing 20 foreigners at local pubs without a valid employment agency (EA) licence.

Lim was charged with one count of conducting employment agency activities without a valid EA licence. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a fine of $30,000, in default two month’s imprisonment.

Under the Employment Agencies Act (EAA), no person can perform any employment activity without a valid EA licence issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The investigation leading up to the case revealed that from July 2011 to April 2012, Lim performed EA activities in the employment of 20 foreigners at various pubs as performing artistes, without possessing a valid EA licence authorising him to do so.

He was paid by the pubs for services such as submitting online work pass applications and acting as a minder for the foreigners, etc.

Lim also got agency fees between $8,000 and $11,000 from three of the foreigners.

MOM affirmed that performing EA activities without a valid EA licence is an offence, and it will not hesitate to prosecute offenders, who upon conviction can be fined up to $80,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 24 months.

MOM-licensed EAs can be verified through the EA Directory on MOM’s website.

"Under the EAA, any person or company who uses the services of an unlicensed EA has committed an offence and is punishable with a fine of up to $5,000 per charge," said MOM in a statement.

Unlicensed EA activities should be reported to MOM at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 6438 5122.

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