SINGAPORE - Three companies and their five directors were charged on Thursday (March 18) with making false salary and employment declarations in work pass applications.
They are also facing charges of illegally employing foreigners without valid work passes and making employees work excessive overtime hours.
The companies are Mini Environment Service, Labourtel Management Corporation and MES Logistics - all of which are part of property and logistics solutions company MES Group.
The five directors are Chew Chain Loon, 56; Fathimunnisa Mohamed Abdul Jaleel, 37; Haja Nawaz, 52; Parvis Ahmed Mohamed Ghouse, 44; and Mohamed Jinna Mohamed Abdul Jaleel, 38. They are all Singaporeans.
In all, the companies and directors are facing 553 charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act and the Employment Act, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday.
MOM said it had acted on a tip-off in 2019 and mounted a special operation to probe allegations of illegal conduct at the MES Group of companies.
Investigations revealed that between November 2009 and May 2019, Mini Environment Service had allegedly deployed its workers to work for Labourtel and MES Logistics without valid work passes.
The directors and the three companies also allegedly abetted and made false salary and employment declarations in their work pass applications.
Mini Environment Service also allegedly made its employees work beyond the permitted overtime hours stipulated under the Employment Act, between March and May 2019, said MOM.
Mr Kevin Teoh, divisional director of MOM's foreign manpower management division, commended the whistle-blower for his willingness to step forward and the witnesses for their cooperation.
"MOM takes a serious view of such allegations and continues to be vigilant in our surveillance and enforcement efforts. We will take strong enforcement action against offending parties," said Mr Teoh.
Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, those who employ foreign workers illegally can be fined between $5,000 and $30,000, jailed up to 12 months, or both.
For providing false information in work pass applications, offenders can be fined up to $20,000, jailed up to two years, or both.
Offences involving excessive overtime carry a fine of up to $5,000. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $10,000 and be jailed up to 12 months too.
Members of the public who wish to report employment offences can call MOM on 6438 5122. All information will be kept confidential, said the ministry.