SINGAPORE - Two Singaporean men were charged by the Commercial Affairs Division and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday (Oct 20) over the running of sham employment businesses that fraudulently collected fees from foreign job seekers.
Terry Tan-Soo I-Hse, 39, and Clarence Lim Jun Yao, 30, face a total of 442 charges for operating and using three sham companies to collect fees from more than 300 foreign job seekers for jobs that did not exist, the police and MOM said in a release.
Tan-Soo was the director of employment agency Asia Recruit, now known as Alliance Recruit, while Lim was the director of Asiajobmart and UUBR International, now known as Connectsia.
Said the police and MOM in the release: "Investigations revealed that Tan-Soo and Lim submitted a total of 449 work pass applications to MOM, of which, 445 applications were rejected."
The MOM has banned Lim, Asiajobmart and UUBR from employing any new foreign workers and renewing any work passes. Asia Recruit's employment agency licence has also been suspended.
Both men face charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act as well as charges for fraudulent trading under the Companies Act, while Tan-Soo faces additional charges under the Employment Agencies Act.
If convicted under the Companies Act, they may be sentenced to up to seven years' jail, a fine of up to $15,000, or both, per charge.
If convicted of false declaration offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, the duo also face imprisonment of up to two years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both, per charge.
If convicted of a breach of licensing conditions under the Employment Agencies Act, Tan-Soo faces imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to $5,000, or both, per charge, and the revokement of his employment agency licence.
The MOM reminded job seekers and licensed employment agencies that fees should not be collected until after successful placement with an employer.
The ministry said job seekers and employers who know of people or employers who contravene the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act or Employment Agencies Act should report the matter to the MOM on 6438-5122 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be kept strictly confidential, the ministry added.