|Illegal Deployment of Foreigners Cost Cleaning Company and Director More Than $250,000|
|Tuesday, 04 December 2007 17:05|
Goh Seng How Vincent, the director of C.X.M General Contractor Pte Ltd and a partner at 2001 Image Enterprise, was convicted on 36 charges (with another 66 charges taken into consideration) of abetting illegal employment/deployment of foreigners and for obstructing an employment inspector from carrying out investigations. He was fined $202,800 on 20 November 2007.
C.X.M General Contractor Pte Ltd was also fined $81,400 for 11 charges of illegal employment offences with the remaining 21 charges taken into consideration during sentencing. Both Goh Seng How and C.X.M General Contractor Pte Ltd will also be debarred from hiring foreign workers.
Facts of the Case
MOM's investigations revealed that between July 2002 and September 2006, Goh had illegally deployed 94 construction and marine workers from his companies, C.X.M. General Contractor and 2001 Image Enterprise, to perform cleaning and sweeping tasks at various housing estates. Goh also illegally employed seven foreign workers without work permits to work as conservancy workers.
During the course of investigations in August 2005, Goh compounded his offences further by attempting to hinder MOM's investigations. He had wilfully obstructed an employment inspector from interviewing one of his foreign workers for illegal employment offences by instructing the worker to leave the country. The foreign worker was suspected to be illegally deployed by Goh to work as a conservancy worker. The worker was subsequently arrested by the Immigrations and Customs Authority (ICA) officers when he tried to re-enter Singapore.
C.X.M General Contractor Pte Ltd was previously fined $10,500 in August 2004 for illegal employment of foreigners without valid work permits.
"While MOM has eased foreign workforce rules to support Singapore's growing manpower needs, it will not let up on efforts to hold to task, employers who deliberately flout the rules. The enhanced Employment of Foreign Manpower Act also means that errant offenders will face heavier penalties," said Mr Aw Kum Cheong, Divisional Director of the Foreign Manpower Management Division.
Any person caught employing foreigners without valid work permits will be charged in court. Since 1 July 2007, the penalties for illegal employment offences have been enhanced under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA). A first-time offender faces a fine up to $15,000 for each foreign worker, or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and this will be over and above the restitution of any levy evaded. For the second and subsequent conviction, the penalty will be a mandatory jail sentence of one to 12 months, in addition to a fine up to $15,000.