SINGAPORE: The principal of a training centre was sentenced to 10 months' jail on Nov 1 for falsely issuing course certificates, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (Nov 8).
Aduljafar Abdulkuthose, principal of Vsafe Training Consultant, was found to have issued 17 Building Construction Supervisor Safety (BCSS) course certificates and safety passes to workers without conducting any lessons or assessments.
In addition to walk-ins by interested workers, Abduljafar also colluded with agents to sell the certificates to interested workers. The workers would each pay between S$200 and S$700 through these agents.
Investigations started in March 2016, after MOM got wind that Vsafe was involved in certificate milling activities.
It was found that Vsafe had an unusually high volume of BCSS records on MOM’s training records system uploaded between January and March 2016, despite there only being two training sessions conducted in February 2016 for Korean participants.
MOM has since cancelled all of Vsafe's fraudulent records in its record system.
BCSS is a compulsory training course for supervisors in the construction industry. The course was later renamed the Supervise Construction Work in Workplace Safety and Health in May 2017.
By selling fraudulent certificates, errant training providers had put workers' lives at risk, said Mr Sebastian Tan, director of MOM’s Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate.
"The workers who obtained these fraudulent certificates and passes were clearly not equipped to manage WSH (Workplace Safety and Heath) issues nor implement the necessary risk control measures on-site. Their employers too had been misled into thinking that their workers were being supervised by competent supervisors," he said.
"By selling fraudulent certificates and passes, the training provider knowingly undermined the WSH training regime and put workers' lives at risk."
This is not the first time errant training providers have been taken to task. Two directors and a trainer from three other WSH training providers have previously been sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment each for forging BCSS course certificates.