What is the change? Singapore’s State Courts have sentenced the director of the shell company Triyon Corporation Pte Ltd to seven months’ imprisonment for fraudulently obtaining work passes for five foreign workers with no intention of employing them.

What does the change mean? Employers and individuals are reminded that it is illegal under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act to be complicit in fraudulently bringing foreign workers to Singapore and it is a serious offense to profit from fraudulent work pass applications. The Ministry of Manpower continues to aggressively pursue prosecutions for work pass violations.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work passes.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign workers applying for work passes.
  • Business impact: Those who illegally obtain work passes for foreign workers for a shell company and subsequently fail to provide work for the employees will be sentenced to six months or more of imprisonment and face fines of up to $6,000 per offense. MOM will ban the offending person and the company from employing new foreign workers and will not grant any work pass renewals.
  • Next steps: Foreign workers who find themselves without a job after obtaining a work pass should immediately inform MOM.

Background: In the last two years, MOM has prosecuted and convicted five people for the illegal importation of labor. The latest case involved the registered director of Triyon Corporation Pte Ltd., a shell company, which illegally obtained work passes for five Chinese workers with no intention of employing them. The individual falsely declared to MOM that the foreign workers would be employed by Triyon Corporation Pte Ltd as construction workers, though the foreign workers were subsequently made to find their own employment. The individual was charged with five counts of the illegal importation of labor, was sentenced to seven months in prison, and is permanently barred from employing foreign workers. An investigation into an alleged co-conspirator is ongoing.

BAL Analysis: Employers are reminded that the Ministry of Manpower takes work pass violations seriously and has stepped up prosecutions in this area. All information declared in an application should be accurate. The occupation and company listed in the work pass applications should match the foreign worker’s job description and duties. The salary information should meet the ministry guidelines of base monthly salary and fixed monthly allowance. BAL recommends that the employment contract reflect salary information in case the ministry requests supporting documentation. Employers who violate these rules not only face fines but will be banned from hiring foreign workers. Repeat offenders face imprisonment.

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

Copyright © 2018 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact