Singapore

41 arrested from syndicate that scammed illegal foreign workers

They were part of a syndicate suspected of illegally bringing in foreign labour.

These 41 people — including the alleged mastermind and other syndicate members — were nabbed after the authorities carried out an islandwide enforcement operation.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the suspects were arrested on July 1 and 2.

A suspected syndicate member being brought away. PHOTO: MOM

Here's how the syndicate worked:

♦ It would set up shell companies to bring in the foreign workers.

♦ The workers realise they have been scammed when their employers turn out to be shell companies. As victims, they have to pay for their own costs of living in Singapore.

♦ Some of the workers willingly paid large sums of money to be part of the scam in order to obtain a genuine work pass. They would then seek illegal employment.

The ministry said syndicate members can face up to two years' jail, or be fined up to $6,000, or both for each illegal worker. If convicted of at least six similar offences at the same trial, they also face caning.

Employers who hire illegal foreign workers can be fined up to $30,000 or be jailed up to 12 months, or both.

They may also be barred from employing foreign workers.

Foreigners who work without valid work passes can be fined up to $20,000 or be jailed up to 24 months, or both. They may also be barred from working in Singapore.

Foreign WorkerUncategorisedjailcaning