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Man charged with helping employers to house 22 migrant workers in two shophouses, employing worker illegally

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man was charged on Tuesday (Oct 5) with helping employers to house migrant workers in unacceptable accommodation and for illegally employing a migrant worker without a valid work pass.

Man charged with helping employers to house 22 migrant workers in two shophouses, employing worker illegally

The authorities inspected two shophouses and found 39 occupants there, including 22 migrant workers, far exceeding the occupancy cap rules of no more than six unrelated occupants at each private residence.

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man was charged on Tuesday (Oct 5) with helping employers to house migrant workers in unacceptable accommodation and for illegally employing a migrant worker without a valid work pass.

Lau Liang Thye, 42, had committed the offences at two shophouses in Geylang, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a joint statement.

He faces a total of 14 charges for his role in assisting employers to house migrant workers in unacceptable accommodation, unauthorised development of private residential units and converting private residential units into unauthorised dormitory accommodation.

MOM and URA said that they conducted a joint inspection at the two shophouses, at 32 and 34 Lorong 23 Geylang, and found 39 occupants there, including 22 migrant workers.

This far exceeds URA’s occupancy cap rules of no more than six unrelated occupants at each of the private residential premises and also runs afoul of laws that ensure migrant workers are housed in acceptable accommodation.

Based on investigations, Lau had rented the second and third floors of the two shophouses from Tay Kim Kiat, a 58-year-old Singaporean man, MOM and URA said.

Lau then partitioned and sublet the space to other tenants. Lau also sublet partitioned rooms on the rooftop of the two premises without Tay’s knowledge.

Lau faces a further charge for allegedly employing one of his tenants, Zhu Guangpeng, a 46-year-old China national, as a housekeeper and rent collector in exchange for a reduction in his rent, when Zhu did not have a valid work pass to do so.

For his involvement, Tay was charged with three counts of unauthorised development of private residential units. This is for converting a private residential unit to provide unauthorised dormitory accommodation and for permitting Lau to provide dormitory accommodation at another two units.

The employers of the migrant workers were ordered to relocate all affected workers to proper and approved accommodation within two weeks after the joint inspection by MOM and URA.

In their statement, MOM and URA advised property owners to exercise due diligence to ensure that their properties are not used by tenants for unauthorised purposes. Private homeowners who have leased their residential properties should verify the identities of their tenants, they said.

The Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012 mandates that employers ensure that their workers reside in acceptable accommodation. Employers who fail to do so could be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to 12 months, or both, for each charge.

 

Related topics

crime court Migrant Workers URA MOM housing sublet tenant

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