Singapore: Foreign nationals jailed for submitting fraudulent documents

The Ministry of Manpower has charged four foreign nationals with submitting fraudulent academic records in support of work pass applications. Three of the four pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 10 weeks of imprisonment. The charges against the fourth are not yet resolved.

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Key Points:

  • MOM said in a statement that investigations uncovered that the four foreign nationals “used forged academic certificates to fraudulently apply, obtain and renew their Employment Passes (EP) and S Passes. Using these work passes, they held jobs such as restaurant manager, assistant manager, chef and facility executive.”
  • Kandhavel Periyasamy, director of the Employment Inspectorate Department at MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said foreign nationals who use forged educational certificates in the pass application process will not only be prosecuted (penalties include fines of up to $20,000 and up to two years in prison), but also barred permanently from working in Singapore.
  • MOM also encouraged employers to “check the authenticity and quality of their work pass applicant’s academic qualifications” and said in certain cases authorities may require employers to “authenticate qualifications declared in work pass applications.”

BAL Analysis: The cases highlight how serious the ministry is not just about cracking down on employers who violate immigration laws, but also foreign nationals who abuse the process. According to MOM, 73 foreign nationals have been convicted on immigration-related charges in the last two years and permanently barred from working in Singapore. Employers or employment agencies found to have abetted foreign nationals in providing fraudulent documentation also “will be severely dealt with,” MOM said.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact singapore@balglobal.com.

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