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Entertainment outlet operator jailed, fined for labour trafficking 3 work permit holders

SINGAPORE — The operating manager of an entertainment outlet here was sentenced on Tuesday (April 19) to three years and five months in jail and fined S$27,365 for his role in labour trafficking offences involving three women who were employed as performing artistes.

SINGAPORE — The operating manager of an entertainment outlet here was sentenced on Tuesday (April 19) to three years and five months in jail and fined S$27,365 for his role in labour trafficking offences involving three women who were employed as performing artistes.

In a news release, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that Jaiho Club's operator Alagar Balasubramanian, 47, was also ordered by the court to pay compensation amounting to S$2,722.

MOM was first alerted to the case in June 2016, it said. Investigations found that Alagar had interviewed and hired work permit holders as performing artistes at Jaiho Club.

“The trial was in relation to three of these work permit holders,” MOM added.

Before entering Singapore, the work permit holders were made to sign contracts that were “not fully explained to them”. Alagar then also forced “onerous financial demands” that the work permit holders would not be able to repay should they wish to leave their jobs.

The workers were not paid any salaries throughout their employment with Alagar.

In addition, Alagar subjected the work permit holders to constant distress, “including seizing their passports and mobile phones, and threatening to cause them physical harm if they returned to India without his approval”.

“Two work permit holders were even subjected to physical assaults,” MOM said.

Following the discovery of the offences, MOM said that it took the necessary steps to ensure that the three workers received appropriate care.

“MOM investigation officers visited them regularly to check on their physical and mental well-being, and we even engaged professional counselling services to look after their emotional needs.

“To help in their rehabilitation process, we also supported the work permit holders to gain temporary employment under the Temporary Job Scheme. All three women have since safely returned to India.” 

The ministry warned that Singapore takes a serious view of trafficking-in-persons.

Those found guilty of the offence will face a mandatory jail sentence of up to 10 years and be fined up to S$100,00 for first-time offenders. They are also liable for up to six strokes of the cane.

Members of the public who suspect or are aware of labour trafficking activity may report the information to MOM at (65) 6438 5122, or email mom_fmmd [at] mom.gov.sg. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Related topics

crime court human trafficking MOM nightclub

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