Ex-director of Mandarin World Holidays fined $3,000 for operating without valid licence

The former director of travel agency Mandarin World Holidays (MWH) has been fined a total of $3,000 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 issued on Tuesday, STB said that Tan Siew Choo, had been found guilty and convicted of two charges under the Travel Agents Act, with two similar charges against her taken into consideration.

MWH's travel agent licence was first suspended from April 3 to July 1, 2010, following complaints that it had been conducting business as a travel agent in a "negligent and unprofessional manner". A total of 28 complaints against the travel agency were received by STB between 2008 and 2010. MWH's licence was subsequently revoked on Sept 20, 2010, after it was found offering travel-related services during the suspension period. But during a raid the following month, the agency which is located in Lucky Plaza, was still found to be providing travel-related services. STB said it then carried out investigations and prosecution against MWH.

STB said that it takes a "serious view against errant travel agents and those who engage in unlicensed travel agent activities", adding that it "will not hesitate to take necessary action to protect consumers' interests and safeguard the reputation of Singapore's tourism sector".

Under Section 6 of 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 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or both.

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