Authorities investigate twin job placement scams

by Miklos Bolza16 May 2016
Two Singapore firms are under investigation by both the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the police after claims emerged they scammed foreign workers into paying to apply for non-existent jobs overseas.
 
One company, Global Catering and Management, allegedly tricked three Bangladeshis into paying $5,000 each for job placements in Canada which never materialised.
 
A second firm, Amacre Associates, is also being investigated by MOM for similar offenses. The company changed its name to Amaicre in December last year.
 
The Ministry said it is investigating Global for operating an employment agency without a licence and Amacre for violating the terms of its employment agency licence.
 
These cases were uncovered after seven foreign workers made reports to the police. The same workers also sought assistance from the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) last year.
 
Both Global and Amacre handed out fliers to foreign workers in places such as Little India, luring victims in by talking about jobs in Canada, Australia and New Zealand that paid more than $3,000 per month.
 
Workers were then told to pay $5,000 or more to cover application costs, plane tickets and placement fees. When they paid, the jobs were never confirmed and the agents disappeared.
 
In September 2015, Amacre allegedly provided three Bangladeshis with employment contracts for housekeeping jobs working at Buhler Industries, a firm located in Winnipeg, Canada.
 
When HOME called Buhler directly, the firm said it had not offered any jobs. “This is a scam,” a senior executive from the company told The Sunday Times.
 
MOM has had previous dealings with Amacre in the past, slapping it with six demerit points for misrepresenting work pass fees to applicants. Agencies will have their licences suspended or revoked after accumulating 24 demerit points.
 
HR is reminded to always check a particular employment agency through MOM’s website prior to using their services. Demerit points for each agency are clearly displayed through the Ministry’s online Employment Agencies & Personnel Search.
 
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