Travel agent fined for operating without valid licence

SINGAPORE - A director of a local travel agency has been fined a total of $19,500 after being found guilty of carrying out the business of a travel agent without a valid travel agent licence, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

In a statement on Thursday (Oct 1), STB said that Yam Tee Kuang, the key executive and director of Uniglobal Holidays, had pleaded guilty and was convicted of two charges under the Travel Agents Act, with 37 similar charges against him taken into consideration.

Uniglobal's travel agent licence expired on Dec 31, 2013, but Yam was not able to renew it as the firm could not meet the financial criteria for licence renewal.

STB said: "Despite repeated notifications from STB that it was an offence to conduct business activities of a travel agent without a valid licence, Mr Yam, through Uniglobal, was found to have continued carrying on."

He operated without a valid travel agent licence from Jan 1 to April 14, 2014. Investigations also revealed that Uniglobal had failed to deliver about S$140,000 worth of travel products paid for by Russia-based tourists of seven Russian travel agencies.

Under the Travel Agents Act, any person found guilty of carrying on the business of a travel agent without a valid travel agent licence faces a maximum fine of $10,000 and imprisonment up to two years.

The STB also advised the public to exercise due diligence when making arrangements for their travel. For the latest list of licenced travel agents in Singapore, go to the Travel Related Users' System (Trust) website at https://trust.yoursingapore.com.