25 foreigners jailed in Singapore for submitting forged documents

Some 25 foreign workers were charged on Thursday for submitting forged academic certificates to obtain work passes to work in Singapore.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is clamping down on foreign employees who submit forged academic certificates.
Some 25 foreign workers were charged on Thursday for submitting forged academic certificates to obtain work passes to work in Singapore, under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA), the ministry announced in a press statement.
All 25 pleaded guilty to the charges. Twenty-two of them were sentenced to 10 weeks’ jail, two sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail and one to four weeks’ jail. These were the most severe penalties meted out by the court for such offences.
The Ministry said that this was the largest number of foreign employees prosecuted for such an offence this year. Last year, 78 foreign employees were charged for similar offences, nearly double the number of workers charged in 2012. Most of them were jailed for up to four weeks and were also barred from working in Singapore.
According to MOM, the 25 employees had applied for work passes between November 2012 and June 2013, using faked academic certificates in their home countries.
Sixteen of them were from Myanmar, seven from India and two from the Philippines.
Based on the false certificates submitted, 20 S Passes and five Employment Passes (EPs) were issued. They all worked for less than a year in Singapore, in the sales, operational and food and beverage sectors. Among them were also a hair restoration technologist, a quality control executive and a chef.
The Ministry said, “They … knowingly used the forged academic certificates to mislead MOM to believe that they met the required educational criteria to obtain work passes.”

The forgeries were discovered when the Ministry conducted checks with the certificate-issuing institutions and foreign government departments, between November and December last year.
No action was taken against the employers involved, as they had also been unaware that the certificates had been forged.
The Ministry warned that it “will not condone such acts of deceit, and will take severe actions against offenders, as well as errant employers and employment agencies if they abet foreign applicants who submit forged academic certificates.”
Offenders who submit false documents or forged academic certificates to the Controller of Work Passes may be fined up to $20,000 and/or jailed for up to two years.

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