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Computer firm director charged with false declaration of salaries

Singaporean Singaravelu Murugan, a director of MN Computer Systems, was charged with falsely declaring the salaries of 20 foreign employees when applying for their Employment Passes.

SINGAPORE: A computer firm director was charged by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday (June 19) for falsely declaring the salaries of his 20 foreign employees when applying for their Employment Passes.

Singaravelu Murugan, a director of MN Computer Systems, allegedly provided false salary information between July 5, 2012 and September 6, 2013 in 17 application forms and three renewal application forms for Employment Passes. Applicants of Employment Passes must meet minimum salary requirements.

During the application and renewal for work passes, the 44-year-old Singaporean allegedly declared that he would pay S$4,500 a month to each of his 20 foreign employees, MOM said in a statement. However, according to the ministry’s investigations, he intended to pay them salaries lower than what was declared.

Based on the false declarations, the applications and renewals were subsequently approved and Employment Passes were issued to the 20 foreign employees, who were employed as software engineers.

MOM said it had also investigated the 20 employees to determine if they were involved in the false declarations. According to its investigations, all of them were unaware that a higher salary had been declared and were therefore not complicit in the alleged scam. They have since stopped working for MN Computer Systems and are now working for new employers, according to the ministry.

This is the third major case this year involving employers being charged for making false salary declarations, the ministry said. On April 10, MOM charged eight employers who were franchisees of local convenience store 7-Eleven, and seven were convicted and fined between S$8,000 (in default four weeks’ imprisonment) and S$56,000 (in default 42 weeks’ imprisonment). The case against the eighth employer is ongoing.

On June 17, Woolim Plant Engineering & Construction was convicted of making false statements to MOM in the applications of 15 work passes for its Bangladeshi workers. The company had declared salaries that were higher than the amounts actually paid to the foreign employees. The company pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined S$36,000.

The ministry said it is currently investigating other similar false declaration cases involving 254 foreigners hired by 78 employers.

In its statement, MOM reminded employers that those who make false salary declarations will be “severely dealt with”. If convicted, offenders can be fined up to S$20,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.

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