The office of Hong Lu Engineering, 23 Kelantan Lane, Kim Hoe Centre, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A company director and his Bangladeshi employee were charged by the Ministry of Manpower at Singapore’s State Courts on October 31 with allegedly collecting S$64,600 (US$47,385) in kickbacks from 21 foreign workers as a condition of them being employed.

Defendant Chen Quan, who is a permanent resident in Singapore, aged 35, was also hit with 45 counts of failing to pay over S$32,000 in salaries and overtime payments to 10 foreign workers, Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) reported on the weekend.

An investigation by the ministry found that Chen, who acted as director of Hong Lu Engineering, unlawfully obtained a monthly sum of between S$2,500 and $3,600 from his foreign workers between May 2015 and February 2016.

Between September 2015 and July 2016, he also collected a monthly sum of S$2,500 to $4,000 from foreign workers from Trusty Aluminium Pte Ltd, where Chen served as the managing director.

The Bangladeshi employee – Monir Hossain Abdul Malek, aged 29 – assisted the collection of kickbacks on behalf of Chen.

Under Singaporean law, both defendants could be jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$30,000, or both, for each charge related to the collection of kickbacks.

Chen could also be jailed for up to six months, or fined up to S$15,000, or both, for each charge for failing to pay workers’ salaries.