Recently I received an email seeking for help and advise as he had been charged with operating an unlicensed employment agency
in Singapore, the email as below:
I would like to ask question (opinion) in regards with Employment Act 6 (1).
MOM is charging me as an Illegal recruitment EA 6(1) for 1 count and my court date will be end of next week.
I am a foreigner, the ACRA is under my name and i am the director, my EP is under the company.
Its a consultancy company, first activity training, second activity is import export product under ACRA.
Training (Aviation – AME Aircraft Mechanic Engineer training for General Familiarization and B1, B2) & ( FnB – HR training).
Product (biodegradable product and machines, grocery product,software, coffee, coal and precious metals).
Under the HR training i refer applicant for TEP Training Employment Pass for 2 company, total of 11 applicant since October 2011 up to May 2012, 8 are referred by their friend. I collected consultancy fee as written in the receipt of SGD1500 per person.
How do i do it, I put ads online. The applicant respond to my ads and i give them instruction thru emails and sms to go direct at the FnB company.
The FnB company interview them, once they are selected the FnB company process their application witch include key in their application directly. ( i don’t have involvement in the process of their application). once their application approved i collected the consultancy fee. Witch is i though is legal until i find out that i am doing illegal until the day of my arrest June 18, 2012.
I am the only person in the company working and loads of things i does and i am not aware that i am doing illegal recruitment.
I been waiting for my case for 7 months and i already suffer to much. In MOM action they want me to plead guilty then case close (penalty of SGD20,000 up or jail) then they will put my case in the internet together with my photo and it will spread all over Asia (really i just wanna die).
If i have money i want to fight for the case but i cant afford to stay here, pay the lawyer and other expense.
I know that i made a mistake but that mistake is not intended. what do you think the best defense that i can do to lighten my penalty if the judge will allow me to speak.
Thank you in advance.
Here are my answers to him,
It seems that the MOM had good ground to charged you in this aspect.
In Singapore, not knowing is not a good excuse to be pardon. The activities of involving with clients are already breaching the law.
As for your case, the maximum penalty is $80,000 fine and or jail up to 2 yrs.
The best defence is that you can inform that about your family and other sentimental values reason which may have some stand. But your case of winning will not be very high. Unless you have evidence that the activities are not carry out by you.
For this case, would like to advise that operating an unlicensed employment agency
in Singapore will never be “profitable” as the penalty will be high. Not only that, once you are convicted whether you are fined or jailed, you will never be able to enter into this industry under your own name.
The risk is very high and there are many existing employment agencies will let the ministry of manpower knows if one is operating without a license, in additional, there are many people hired full time to detect such activities, the number of people who are being engaged to spot such illegal activities are very astonishing…..they are EVERYWHERE!!!
Be good, be nice, be proper…. cheers!