SINGAPORE: Twenty-five foreign employees have been sentenced to jail between four to 12 weeks for submitting forged academic certificates to obtain work passes to work in Singapore.
All 25 of them, comprising 21 men and four women, had pleaded guilty to the charges.
Sixteen were from Myanmar, seven from India and two from the Philippines.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the forged academic certificates were submitted to the Controller of Work Passes, which is an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
MOM said this is the largest number of foreign employees prosecuted for the offence this year.
It added that the penalties are the most severe the court has meted out so far for the offence.
The accused persons obtained forged academic certificates in their home countries.
They used the certificates to apply for work passes between November 2, 2012 and June 7, 2013.
MOM said based on the false information submitted, the accused persons were issued 20 S Passes and five Employment Passes.
They did not possess the requisite university degree qualifications, and had knowingly used the forged academic certificates to mislead MOM to believe that they met the required educational criteria to obtain work passes.
MOM discovered that the certificates were forged following checks with the relevant certificate issuing institutions and respective foreign government departments.
The employers were also unaware that the foreign employees had submitted forged academic certificates for their work pass applications.
MOM said as there was no complicity on the part of the employers, no further action was taken against them.