A foreign worker has been convicted for making fraudulent work injury compensation claims after alleging that his little finger was severed on the job
He was convicted and sentenced to eight weeks’ jail in the State Courts last Thursday (11 February).
A second charge of making false statements to an Investigation Officer was also taken into account when delivering the final sentence.
The courts heard that Rahman, a marine worker, filed a work injury compensation (WIC) claim against his employer on 12 February 2014.
He claimed that part of his left little finger was severed while operating a band saw machine at work and that the supervisor was later informed of the accident.
However, a later investigation by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) found the alleged accident never took place and that Rahman did not suffer any injury while at work.
MOM also found that Rahman’s hand was uninjured when he left the worksite and that no one – including his supervisor and work colleagues – was aware of the alleged accident.
After refusing to admit to making fraudulent claims despite being offered time to do so, MOM then prosecuted Rahman for deliberately making a fraudulent claim and for furnishing false information to the MOM investigation officer.
Rahman failed to appear on court for the First Mention on 8 October 2015 and a warrant was put out for his arrest.
Police later arrested Rahman on 28 November 2015 where he was charged by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority for overstaying and sentenced to three weeks in jail for the offence.
Kee Ee Wah, director of MOM’s Work Injury Compensation Department, highlighted the Ministry’s stance on cases such as this in a statement.
"MOM takes a very serious view of fraudulent claims. In instances when the veracity of claims are suspicious and questionable, MOM will conduct investigations into the claims,” she said.
Because investigations into fraudulent claims wasted time and resources which were better spent helping genuine claimants, Kee stressed the Ministry’s strong stance against this type of offence.
“MOM will not hesitate to take tough action against fraudulent claimants who try to abuse the system for their own gains.”
Under Section 35(2)(f) of WICA, those guilty of making fraudulent claims can receive a fine of up to $15,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Under Section 35(2)(c), those guilty of furnishing false information may be fined up to $5,000 and/or receive a jail sentence of up to six months.
Do you have any experience with workers falsifying compensation claims? If your company has been affected, please let us know by email or in the comments below.
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