Bangladeshi named Roy Tapon Kumar, 36, was fined S$30,000 on Tuesday (Nov 21) for illegal employment practices. Initially coming from his country to work as a project administrator in Singapore, he moonlighted as an unlicensed employment agency instead. In this practice, he charged 12 of his countrymen between S$1,800 and S$7,300 to find employment here.
For more than six months from Oct 2015 to March 2016, Mr Kumar would contact people in his home country who were keen in looking for jobs in Singapore. After getting the clients, he asked them to send him copies of their passports and personal biodata, which then he forwarded to hiring firm Bee Teck International.
When these people have secured jobs, Mr Kumar would forward the In-Principal Approval, a letter issued when a foreign worker’s work permit is approved, along with their security bond letters from the company to them. A security bond asserts employer’s responsibility to send back their foreign workers upon termination of the employment.
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Additionally, he also arrange for one of the total 12 Bangladeshi workers he illegally acted for to attend a job interview session with the company. For the payments, Mr Kumar collected the money from these workers directly, or through their friends and relatives, as well via bank transfer.
In a press release on Wednesday (Nov 22), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) stated that Mr Kumar also has to face another two charges of prompting two foreign workers to hide the fact that they had paid him agency fees, when they were investigated by an employment inspector. The two counts were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Further, the ministry said there are another 15 people who have been convicted for conducting employment agency activities without valid license from 2015 to the first half of 2017. Eight of the culprits were foreign workers, Today Online reports.
The director of the Well-Being Department at MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, Ms Jeanette Har said that work pass holders are not allowed to conduct or be involved in any kind of illegal employment agent activities.
“On top of stiff penalties, work pass holders who break the law, will have their work passes revoked, and face employment debarment. Foreigners who seek employment should only use a licensed (employment agency) and they should verify the (employment agency) through the MOM Employment Agency Directory,” she added.
To account for his actions, Mr Kumar could have been fined up to to S$80,000 for each count of conducting employment without a valid license, or jailed up to two years, or both.
To prevent any further issues, MOM actively encouraged members of the public who have any information regarding to any unlicensed Employment Agency activities to report the matter to MOM at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6438 5122. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
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