Ex-firm director charged with falsifying work pass requests

He also took kickbacks amounting to over S$30,000 from 16 foreign workers, as a condition for them to stay employed.

The former director of a Singapore engineering firm has been charged with falsifying work pass applications.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on March 16 charged 37-year-old Indian national Sivasundaram Veeramani, an ex-Director of Koa Low Engineering, with 20 counts of submitting false information in work pass applications. 

Sivasundaram also faced 16 other charges for demanding a total of S$34,500 in criminal kickbacks as a condition for the foreign employees’ continued employment with the company, and six further charges of engaging in a conspiracy with another employer to hire foreign workers without valid work passes.

Koa Low Engineering was also charged with similar false declaration and kickback offences.

MOM said its investigations revealed that between November 2015 and March 2016, Sivasundaram falsely declared on behalf of the company, the fixed monthly salaries of 20 foreign employees to be at least S$4,800 so as to meet the Employment Pass minimum salary requirement.

The accused allegedly knew that the foreign employees would be paid less than the declared salaries in their Employment Pass applications. 

Further investigations found that he also engaged in a conspiracy sometime in May 2014 with a Singapore Permanent Resident, to employ six foreign workers without valid work passes. 

The kickbacks have since been returned to most of the affected workers. 

The case has been adjourned to 27 April 2017.

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