Couple jailed 6 weeks for conspiring to make false declaration in maid's work permit application

SINGAPORE - A couple has been jailed for conspiring to make a false declaration in the work permit application of a domestic worker.

The six-week jail terms for Kay Siew Hwa, 58, and her husband Woon Meng Fatt, 61, began on Tuesday (Nov 9). They were sentenced in the State Courts on Nov 2.

The domestic worker, Ms Pirante Jean Delmo, was earlier jailed for six weeks on Nov 24 last year for making a false declaration to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in her migrant domestic worker work permit application form.

The 35-year-old Filipino has been permanently barred from working in Singapore.

In August 2018, Kay interviewed Ms Delmo for a housekeeper job at a guesthouse, which was owned by a company she was the director of, said MOM in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 10).

Both women agreed that Kay would apply for an migrant domestic worker permit, instead of an S Pass for Ms Delmo.

At that time, Kay had already employed another foreign worker, 37-year-old Martin Mylene Alinsangan, and was not eligible to hire a second migrant domestic worker.

She asked Woon to apply for the work permit using his name.

Woon then made a false declaration in Ms Delmo's work permit application that he would employ her as a migrant domestic worker.

"He further substantiated his need for a migrant domestic worker for his mother and brother's special caregiving needs by submitting a doctor's memo in his appeal," MOM said.

Ms Delmo later entered Singapore in October 2018 and worked as a housekeeper for about a year until the offences were discovered.

Kay was also fined $9,000 on Nov 2 for employing Ms Alinsangan, who is also Filipino, as a housekeeper without a valid work pass between June 2017 and October 2019.

At the time, Ms Alinsangan held only a permit to be employed as a migrant domestic worker and was not eligible to work as a housekeeper.

MOM told The Straits Times that Ms Alinsangan was issued a stern warning for working without a valid work pass, and will be permanently barred from working in Singapore.

In its statement on Wednesday, the ministry said: "Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA), migrant domestic workers are only allowed to perform household and domestic duties for the official employer and at the residential address as stated on the work permit card."

The ministry also said all employers and work pass applicants must make accurate, complete and truthful declarations to the Controller of Work Passes in work pass applications under the EFMA.

Those convicted of making false declarations under the EFMA may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $20,000, or both.

"Errant employers will have their work pass privileges suspended, and the work pass applicant will also be permanently barred from working in Singapore," added MOM.

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