Ministry of Manpower, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A 46-year-old Singaporean man faced 21 charges after allegedly forcing his foreign employees to pay him kickbacks totaling S$3,650 (US$2,680) in exchange for continued employment with the company of which he was a director.

Between March and July 2016, Yuan Shungao, a director of Yuan Chun Contractor Pte Ltd, allegedly took S$200 each from two foreign workers every month, and from April to July 2016, four other foreign workers in the company were said to have had S$150 deducted from their monthly salaries as a way to secure their jobs, Lianhe Zaobao reported.

If the employees did not oblige, their work-permit renewals would not be sponsored by Yuan, a court heard.

As a result of these tactics, Yuan allegedly extracted a total of S$3,650 from the six victims during the stated period. The kickbacks were returned to the workers after the intervention of the Ministry of Manpower, The Straits Times reported.

The next hearing in Yuan’s case is scheduled for September 8.

According to Singapore law, those convicted of extorting kickbacks from foreign employees may be fined for each count and/or receive a prison sentence of up to two years. They may also be barred from hiring migrant workers in the future.