The 43-year-old owner of an employment agency for foreign domestic workers was fined S$8,500 by a court on Thursday after pleading guilty to bringing in two underage girls from Myanmar to work as domestic workers in Singapore.
The accused named Sherlyn Tay Li Wen, who is the sole proprietor of AG Employment Agency, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching employment licensing conditions in November this year, the Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) reported.
The court learned that two girls, 15 and 18, had approached an agent in Myanmar to help them look for work in Singapore in June and October this year.
The alleged Myanmar agent took a video of each girl, instructing them to lie about their age – say they were 24 – and arranged for new passports for them with false dates of birth.
AG Employment Agency received videos and started finding prospective employers for both girls. By October, applications were filed for the girls to work as domestic workers in Singapore.
The pair arrived in Singapore on November 5, but the accused allegedly did not interview them or take any action to verify their age. The agent just referred them for medical check-ups and the Settling-In Programme, a mandatory one-day orientation for first-time domestic workers.
During the orientation, officers from the Ministry of Manpower began to suspect that the prospective workers were too young to work in the city-state.
According to Singapore law, the minimum age requirement for foreign domestic workers is 23.