Construction firm director jailed for extorting cash from 6 foreign workers

Foreign workers in Singapore. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

The director of a construction firm in Singapore has been jailed six weeks for collecting $3,650 in kickbacks from six foreign workers in exchange for allowing them to continue working for the company.

Yuan Shungao, 46, of Yuan Chun Contractor was charged with 21 counts under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, and was convicted in the State Courts last Thursday (19 October), according to media reports.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has also banned Yuan and the company from employing foreign workers. MOM was alerted to the case when some of the affected workers approached the ministry for help in February.

Between March and July 2016, Yuan received $200 a month each from two foreign workers. On top of this he also took $150 per month each from another four workers between April and July 2016.

Investigations showed that Yuan had told some of the workers that their employment passes would not be renewed if they did not cough up the cash. The affected workers have since had their money returned, thanks to the MOM’s intervention.

For his actions, Yuan could have been fined up to $30,000, jailed up to two years, or both, on each charge.

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