An Indian was charged today in Singapore for submitting false information in work pass applications and demanding kickbacks from foreign employees while working as a director of an engineering company here. Sivasundaram Veeramani, 37, the former director of Koa Low Engineering private limited, was charged with 20 counts of submitting false information in work pass applications. He is accused of falsely declaring, on behalf of the company, the fixed monthly salaries of 20 foreign employees between November 2015 and March last year, Channel News Asia reported. Veeramani declared the monthly salary to be at least 4,800 Singapore dollars (USD 3,420) in order to meet the minimum salary requirement for an 'Employment Pass' which is issued to professional level foreign employees, the report said. He allegedly knew that the foreign employees would be paid less than the declared salaries in their Employment Pass applications, the Ministry of Manpower said in a media release. In addition, between September 2015 and February last year, Veeramani allegedly demanded kickbacks from 16 foreign employees ranging from 1,500 to 2,200 dollars, as a condition for them to remain employed by the company. The kickbacks, which amounted to 34,500 dollars, have since been returned to most of the affected workers, the ministry said. Veeramani faces a total of 42 charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Twenty of the charges are for submitting false information in work pass applications, 16 for demanding kickbacks and another six for engaging in a conspiracy with another employer in 2014 to hire foreign workers without valid work passes, said the ministry. The company was also charged in court for similar false declaration and kickback offences, it said. An employer, who submits false information in work pass applications, can be fined up to 20,000 dollars, imprisoned up to two years or both per charge. For collecting kickbacks, the offender can be fined up to 30,000 dollars, jailed up to two years or both per charge. Anyone convicted of illegal employment can be fined a minimum of 5,000 dollars to a maximum of 30,000 dollars and/or imprisoned for up to one year per charge. The ministry said it may also ban the offender and company from employing new foreign workers and not grant any work pass renewals. The case was adjourned till April 27.
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