Sisters fined for making false statements in work pass applications for foreign workers

Leong Chew Peng and Leong Chau Yee were convicted in court for making false statements in applying for work passes for their foreign employees.
Leong Chew Peng and Leong Chau Yee were convicted in court for making false statements in applying for work passes for their foreign employees.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Two Singaporean sisters were convicted in court on Tuesday (Aug 15) for making false statements in applying for work passes for their foreign employees.

The sisters - Leong Chew Peng, 45, and Leong Chau Yee, 47 - had declared that their employees will work as foreign domestic workers but planned to have them work as beauticians instead.

The older sister was fined $16,000, while the younger one was fined $15,500 - in default of which both will have to serve six weeks' imprisonment.

Their employees, Indian nationals Lepcha Ritu and Arti, both 33, were also charged and convicted for making false statements to the Controller of Work Passes, and for working without valid work passes.

Ritu was fined $11,500 and Arti was fined $8,000. They face up to four weeks of jail time if the fines are not paid.

In a press release on Wednesday (Aug 16), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said such false declarations are a serious offence.

"All applicants must make accurate, complete and truthful declarations to the Controller of Work Passes in their work pass applications," said the MOM.

Employers convicted of making false declarations can be fined up to $20,000 and/or jailed for up to two years under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EMFA). MOM will also ban the employers from hiring maids in future.

Those who employ foreigners without a valid work pass can be fined between $5,000 and $30,000 or jailed for up to 12 months, or both.

Foreigners caught working without a valid work pass face a fine of up to $20,000 or imprisonment of up to two years, or both.

From January 2015 to June 1 this year, 15 employers were convicted of  falsely declaring that they were employing foreign domestic workers when there was no intention to do so.

The ministry urged members of the public with information on EFMA infringements to report the matter via e-mail at mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg or call 6438-5122.