Two brothers fined $180k each for collecting $418k in kickbacks from construction workers

Their scam was rumbled last year when the Ministry of Manpower investigated after a tip-off.
Their scam was rumbled last year when the Ministry of Manpower investigated after a tip-off.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Two brothers working for a management services company have each been fined $180,000 for collecting more than $400,000 in kickbacks from foreign construction workers.

Lim Boon Hwa, 41, boss of Lexley Management Services, and Lim Boon Hong, 36, its human resources consultant, were involved in a scam proposed by Kathamuthu Chelladurai - a supervisor for Straits Construction.

In 2009, he suggested to Lim Boon Hwa that they collect money from foreign workers to renew their work permits.

Lim agreed and, along with his brother and Mr Kathamuthu, they collected the money and split it between them without the knowledge of Straits Construction.

Their scam was rumbled last year when the Ministry of Manpower investigated after a tip-off.

The trio collected a total of almost $418,000 in kickbacks from 13 workers, an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

Both men were fined at a hearing on Thursday.

The older brother has returned the money in full to the workers.

Mr Kathamuthu is wanted by authorities.

goyshiyi@sph.com.sg