Jailed: Employment agent fraudulently obtains work permit for foreigner

Employers reminded that submitting false information for work permits 'serious offence'

Jailed: Employment agent fraudulently obtains work permit for foreigner

An employment agent has been sentenced to four weeks in jail and barred from the employment agency industry after he fraudulently obtained a work permit for a foreigner.

The convicted individual is Lee Peck Li, a 44-year-old Singaporean sales agent and a former employee of employment agency C1EA, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Lee was earning his income based on the number of new clients sourced as well as the number of work permit transactions that were processed.

Lee's offence around recruitment

In September 2021, he was contacted by an overseas agent to facilitate the entry of foreigner Li Guiyu, who planned to enter Singapore in search of "odd jobs," MOM said.

Lee agreed to facilitate Li's entry with the expectation that he would get work pass application referrals from the overseas agent, from whom he would earn commissions.

According to Lee, he agreed with the arrangement after his income was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Channel News Asia reported, citing court documents.

The agent then conspired with the director of Liquidlab Communication, who he asked to apply for a work permit for Li as a sales representative.

But Liquidlab had no intention to employ Li, who also had no intention to work for the company, according to MOM. Instead, Li would go to Singapore to look for jobs while she paid her own levy for a period of three months, according to the CNA report.

Lee then submitted a work permit application indicating that Li would be a sales representative under Liquidlab Communication, despite this being false.

Li was later granted a work permit in October 2021. She arrived in Singapore to look for employment but was later arrested in November 2021 for engaging in vice activities. She was eventually repatriated and barred from working in Singapore.

The director of Liquidlab was also fined SG$5,000, while the company received a stern warning, MOM told CNA.

For Lee, he was sentenced to jail under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, while the court also considered his submission of a false statement during sentencing.

'Serious offence' for false declration

Commenting on the conviction, MOM reminded employers that they are required to make accurate, complete, and truthful declarations in work pass applications.

"Making false declarations is a serious offence. If convicted, an offender can be fined up to $20,000, or jailed for up to two years, or both," MOM said in a media release.

"Errant employers will have their work pass privileges suspended, and the work pass applicant will also be barred from working in Singapore."

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