Contractor owes more than $100k in wages, drivers claim

The drivers who served as chauffeurs during the SEA Games were reportedly promised $8,000 to $10,000. They have been paid only $1,000, claims one driver. The police are investigating.
The drivers who served as chauffeurs during the SEA Games were reportedly promised $8,000 to $10,000. They have been paid only $1,000, claims one driver. The police are investigating.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Fourteen drivers claim they have been left in the lurch by a contractor who owes them more than $100,000 in wages after hiring them to work as chauffeurs during last year's SEA Games.

One driver, who wanted to be known only as Mr Teo, told Shin Min Daily News that the owner of a private car rental company called S.I.A. Limousine had promised them $8,000 to $10,000 and that each had worked at least 10 hours a day during the June event last year.

He alleged that the drivers were paid a $1,000 deposit and promised that the rest would be paid a month later - but they have yet to receive their money while the whereabouts of the contractor, Mr Sia Beng Lee, is currently unknown.

Mr Teo, who signed an agreement with Mr Sia last April, said: "In August last year, the contractor claimed that he had received money from the organiser and asked us to collect it but when we met him, he said he owed the bank money and his account had been frozen."

Police say they are investigating the case.

According to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority records, S.I.A. Limousine was registered in 2004 but its status was "cancelled" as of December last year.

The Chinese newspaper also reported that when Mr Teo visited the contractor's house in Bedok, his wife cried and said that she was not aware of her husband's whereabouts.

When visited by Shin Min Daily News, neighbours said that they had not seen Mr Sia for more than a year.

Another person who claimed to be his relative and answered the door at his Bedok flat said that she had not seen the contractor in almost a year and that he is no longer in Singapore.

Calls to his mobile phones either went unanswered or they were no longer in use.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2016, with the headline 'Contractor owes more than $100k in wages, drivers claim'. Print Edition | Subscribe