What is the change? The Ministry of Manpower has charged the former director of an engineering firm with 20 counts of submitting false information in work pass applications in a case that highlights how serious authorities are about enforcing the provisions of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

Key Points:

  • The man in question, Sivasundaram Veeramani, faces 16 charges for demanding kickbacks besides the charges related to false statements. The ministry said in a statement that Veeramani demanded a total of $34,500 from foreign employees, telling them they would lose their jobs if they did not pay him. He also faces six charges of conspiring with another employer to hire foreign workers without valid work authorization.
  • The company, Koa Low Engineering Pte. Ltd., has also been charged for offenses related to providing false information and demanding kickbacks.
  • The case is scheduled to be heard on April 27. If found guilty penalties could include hefty fines, imprisonment and a ban on employing new foreign workers.

Background: The case highlights how serious the Ministry of Manpower is about enforcing laws on foreign workers in Singapore. The ministry filed similar charges against the managing director of another Singaporean company in October, and said it regularly “conducts proactive checks to detect and enforce against false applications.”

BAL Analysis: The ministry has indicated that it is aggressively investigating for false statements or kickbacks by those employing foreign workers. Anyone with information about employers who operate in violation of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act are urged to contact the agency by telephone at (65) 6438 5122 or email at

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact

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