Sisters fined over false statements in work pass applications

Two Singaporean sisters were convicted on Tuesday of making false statements when applying for work passes for their foreign employees.

The sisters - Leong Chew Peng, 45, and Leong Chau Yee, 47 - had declared that their employees would 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 of 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 yesterday, 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 (EFMA). 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 after falsely declaring that they were employing foreign domestic workers when there was no intention to do so.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2017, with the headline 'Sisters fined over false statements in work pass applications'. Print Edition | Subscribe