Man jailed 27 months for obtaining work passes through shell company

Published: 6:46 PM, April 17, 2016
Updated: 12:15 AM, April 18, 2016

SINGAPORE — A 46-year-old man who obtained work passes for 30 foreign employees for a non-operational business was on Tuesday (April 12) sentenced in the State Courts to 27 months’ jail.

Lim Kien Peng was charged with 30 counts of the offence and was sentenced for five charges, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced in a statement on Sunday (April 17).

He had obtained the passes for MNF Investment & Holdings Pte Ltd between May and November 2013. The company was later discovered to be a shell company, with no projects, contracts, profits or losses.

The workers, all Chinese nationals, were released to seek their own employment. No action was taken against them, and they have since been repatriated, according to MOM.

As the registered director of the company, Lim had full knowledge that the business was not in operation and that it existed merely to bring in foreign employees without providing them with actual employment.

Lim admitted that he stood to gain at least S$30,000 from his actions. Two of the foreign employees were made to pay S$8,000 each for their work passes. He has been permanently barred from hiring foreign workers.

Mr Kevin Teoh, the divisional director of MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said that a deterrent sentence was necessary, given the severity of the case.

“The accused had not only blatantly disregarded the law, but also left 30 foreign workers in a vulnerable state,” he said. “We will not hesitate to take stern actions against serious offences like this.”

Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, it is an offence to obtain work passes for foreign employees for a business that does not exist and with no intention of providing any work for the employees.

Offenders may be jailed for six months or more, and face a fine of up to $6,000 for each offence. If convicted of six or more charges, caning may also be imposed.

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