10 months' jail for training provider who forged certs

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) accredited training provider created workplace safety and health-related certificates and sold them to foreigners who did not attend the required training.

Md Abu Zahin Mostafizur Rahman, 36, a director of Pioneer Skill Training Centre, was sentenced to 10 months' jail yesterday after admitting to five counts of forging the Building Construction Supervisors Safety Course (BCSS) certificates of successful completion for the foreigners. Nine other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The purpose of the BCSS is to provide people who carry out work in a worksite with adequate safety and health training.

Investigations showed that some time after Oct 7, 2015, when Abu registered himself as the director of Pioneer Skill, he decided to sell BCSS certificates to foreigners.

MOM prosecutor A. M. Mohamed Riasudeen said more than 200 "suspicious" certificates and passes were found when MOM officers raided Pioneer Skill's premises in Soon Lee Street on Dec 7 that year.

Abu admitted that the foreigners named on the certificates did not attend the courses specified. He had forged the certificates and sold them to the foreigners at $80 to $90 each, through unknown middlemen. The middlemen received between $160 and $800.

Pleading for leniency, Abu's lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said his client, who is married with two young children, was determined to turn over a new leaf.

Abu could have been fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to six months on each charge.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2017, with the headline '10 months' jail for training provider who forged certs'. Print Edition | Subscribe