Singapore jails restaurant owner for phantom worker scam

March 27th, 2009 - 12:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Singapore, March 27 (DPA) A Singapore restaurant owner became the first employer to be jailed for a so-called phantom-worker scam, which involves declaring a false number of local employees in order to to hire more foreign workers, the Straits Times reported Friday.
District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan jailed Sulaiman Abdullah for six months. Sulaiman claimed he had tried hard but failed to recruit Singaporean workers.

Employers are allowed to hire foreign workers after they meet a certain quota of Singaporean employees, but there has been an increasing number of phantom-workers cases with 17 employers being charged since November.

Sulaiman paid the compulsory fees for five local employees, who never worked at his restaurant, and applied for work permits for 10 foreign workers.

Judge Shaiffudin said Sulaiman’s action had frustrated the government’s efforts to regulate and monitor the recruitment of foreign labour effectively.

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