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3 companies under MES Group and its directors charged with 553 counts of various employment offences

3 companies under MES Group and its directors charged with 553 counts of various employment offences

File photo of a gavel. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Three MES Group companies and its directors were charged for various employment offences, which include illegal employment of foreigners and making false declarations of salaries, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday (Mar 18). 

The companies, Mini Environment Service, Labourtel Management Corporation and MES Logistics, as well as its directors, Chew Chain Loon, Fathimunnisa Mohamed Abdul Jaleel, Haja Nawaz, Parvis Ahmed Mohamed Ghouse and Mohamed Jinna Mohamed Abdul Jaleel were charged with 553 counts under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act and the Employment Act. 

These include charges for false declaration of employment, false declaration of salaries, illegally employing foreigners without valid work passes and excessive overtime hours. 

MOM said it acted on a tip-off and mounted a special operation to probe allegations of illegal conduct at the MES Group of companies in 2019. 

The investigation showed that between November 2009 and May 22, 2019, Mini Environment Service allegedly deployed its workers to work for Labourtel and MES logistics without valid work passes. Mini Environment Service also allegedly made its employees work beyond the permitted overtime hours stipulated under the Employment Act between March and May 2019. 

The directors and companies were also charged for abetting and making false salary and employment declarations in the companies' work pass applications, said MOM.

The case against the directors and companies will be heard again in court on Apr 8, 2021. 

Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, those found guilty of illegal employment can face a fine of between S$5,000 and S$30,000, a jail term of up to 12 months or both. For making a false statement or providing false information in any application or renewal of a work pass, those found guilty can face a fine of up to S$20,000, a jail term of up to two years or both. 

Under the Employment Act, if convicted of offences involving excessive overtime, the offender may face a fine of up to S$5,000. For any subsequent offence, they may face a fine of up to S$10,000, a jail term of up to 12 months or both. 

Divisional director of MOM's foreign manpower management division Kevin Teoh commended the whistleblower for his "willingness" to step forward and the witnesses for their cooperation. 

"MOM takes a serious view of such allegations and continues to be vigilant in our surveillance and enforcement efforts. We will take strong enforcement action against offending parties," said Mr Teoh. 

Members of the public who have any information on Employment of Foreign Manpower Act and Employment Act infringements should report the matter to MOM via the MOM website at (www.mom.gov.sg) under “Contact us” or call 6438 5122.

Source: CNA/lk(rw)

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