SINGAPORE – An employment agency owner was fined $17,300 and ordered by the court to pay compensation to affected foreign workers on Thursday (July 25) for overcharging them and collecting kickbacks from them.

Gulab Singh, a licensee from IBS Consulting Services, was convicted of overcharging employment agency fees, failing to issue written itemised receipts and receiving money from a worker as financial guarantee for the worker’s employment.

The 51-year-old Singaporean was convicted on two counts of overcharging a total of $1,664 from two foreign workers between September 2017 and June 2018, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a statement on Friday.

Singh pleaded guilty to not issuing a written itemised receipt to a foreign worker after receiving his fee.

He also admitted to receiving $5,284 as a financial guarantee from another foreign worker.

MOM said in addition to his conviction, it will also revoke his employment agency licence.

The Commissioner for Employment Agencies, Mr Kevin Teoh, said overcharging agency fees and collecting kickbacks from foreign workers were “egregious offences”.

“A fee cap is in place to prevent excessive agency fees. We will not hesitate to prosecute employment agencies, including permanently barring them from the industry.”

Foreign workers who face problems with their employment agencies or who are pressured to give kickbacks are advised to seek help and call MOM at 6438-5122 or the Migrant Workers’ Centre at 6536-2692.

MOM also advised the public who know employers or people who contravene the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act or Employment Agencies Act to report the matter via its website at www.mom.gov.sg