SINGAPORE - Yu Huajie invested $1 million in a company in Singapore as he had hoped to eventually become a permanent resident (PR) so that he could set up companies and so his children could live and study here.
In 2018, the Chinese national gave false information, including the company that he would be working at in Singapore, to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in his Employment Pass application.
The 37-year-old was given seven weeks’ jail on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to two charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
MOM prosecuting officer Samuel Chua said in court documents that Yu believed an Employment Pass would help him gain permanent residency here.
While in China, he made inquiries on how he could settle down and legitimise his stay in Singapore, and approached a man who told him he could get an Employment Pass by investing $1 million in a company in Singapore.
Yu transferred the money to the man and also submitted, or caused the transfer of, his biodata, including a copy of his passport, to a Ms Wang Jue, the director of Hai Sin International, which purportedly helps clients buy over, invest in or start a business in Singapore.
Hai Sin had launched advertising campaigns in China on investing in Singapore.
MOM’s Mr Chua said Yu knew that his Employment Pass would be applied under a company called Gashubin Engineering and his million-dollar investment would be for that company.
He also knew that he would be paid $10,000 a month as “monthly salary”, on top of any future potential investment returns, and that he would not need to work for or on behalf of Gashubin.
Yu was later told that a degree certificate had to be submitted as part of his Employment Pass application. He agreed to getting a false certificate to show that he had graduated from The Chubb Institute (Westbury) in the United States with a bachelor’s degree in business management.
He paid US$10,000 (S$14,000) for the fake certificate.
Yu applied for his Employment Pass on Dec 14, 2018, saying he would be working for Gashubin Engineering as a regional marketing manager, and on Feb 15, 2019, falsely declared to the controller of work passes in MOM that he would be working for the company and that he was a business management graduate of The Chubb Institute (Westbury).
Based on the declared information, MOM approved his application for an Employment Pass.
While in Singapore, Yu received between $5,000 and $10,000 a month from Gashubin as “salary” from Feb 15, 2019, to March 16, 2021, but was never employed by the company.
On March 16, 2021, an MOM employment inspector carried out investigations upon receiving information on possible contravention of laws related to the employment of foreigners.
Investigations revealed that in early to mid-2018, Ms Wang told the director of Gashubin that she could secure foreign investors for the company, provided that it applied for Employment Passes for these foreign investors to validate their stay in Singapore.
Ms Wang and the director agreed that these foreigners would only invest financially in Gashubin and would not need to work for or on its behalf.
Dr David Leong, managing director of human resource company PeopleWorldwide Consulting, said some PR applicants may exaggerate or present fake documents to improve their chances of approval.
He added that maintaining rigour against fraudulent applications is crucial to attracting the best talents and capital.