Nightclub boss jailed for foreign labour offenses

by Miklos Bolza14 Aug 2015
A Singaporean nightclub boss has been sentenced to 16 months in jail and fined S$35,000 for repeatedly breaching the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
Lim Leong Chye, managing director of Club de Colors and manager of Club GMT, was convicted of illegally importing foreign workers, collecting kickbacks, and instigating another individual to make false claims to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Lim solicited payments as a condition of employment from 16 workers across both clubs, receiving S$97,550 in profits.  He faced 16 changes of receiving criminal kickbacks for each employee.
After he obtained work passes for 11 employees, Lim failed to provide them with employment and allegedly told them to find work on their own. Showing no intention to employ, he faced 11 charges of the illegal importation of labour.
Finally, Lim made false statements in the work permit application forms for four employees while instigating a second individual, Sim Chee Kiang, to provide incorrect information in a further eight applications. This added another 12 charges.
Out of the total of 39 charges, the prosecution went to trial with 11. Four were for kickbacks, three for illegal labour importation and three for instigating a third party to submit false information.
Kevin Teoh, divisional director of MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, commented on the seriousness of the case.
“The circumstances of this case are aggravating – there was no work for the workers, monies were collected, and in some cases, thousands of dollars were handed over. Mr Lim also abetted another company in the furnishing of false information to the Ministry.”
MOM has laid down serious penalties for those who bring in foreign labour without intent to employ. Offenders may face jail time of between six months and two years plus a fine of up to S$6,000 for each employee issued with a work pass. In cases where six or more workers are involved, offenders may also be caned.
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