Accommodations provider Sino Star and its managing director could be imprisoned for up to 12 months and fined.
Sino Star Enterprise, an accommodations provider, and its managing director Zhou Fengxing were charged by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in the State Courts on Tuesday (3 Apr) for abetting an employer to house 21 foreign workers in a single unit, resulting in overcrowded and extremely unsanitary conditions.
The firm and the 53-year-old Zhou each face 21 charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA), which requires employers to provide accommodations for their foreign workers that comply with the rules.
This is because Sino Star was the master tenant of several units at a residential apartment in Geylang, and Zhou permitted the firm to sublet one unit to an employer to house the said workers from March to July 2015. Back then, the occupancy cap per unit was eight persons, before it was lowered to six persons in February 2017.
For violating the EFMA rule, Sino Star and Zhou could be imprisoned for up to 12 months and/or fined up to $10,000 for each charge.
Both are also facing two charges from the Urban Redevelopment Authority for abetting the unauthorised change of use of private residential units under the Planning Act and three charges of unauthorised change of use for such premises. If convicted, they could be fined up to $200,000 per charge.
Meanwhile, Reuters and Channel NewsAsia reported that the two Singaporeans who have pleaded guilty of unauthorised short-term letting via Airbnb were ordered by the court to pay $60,000 each on Tuesday.
The two men, 34-year-old Yao Song Liang and 35-year-old Terence Tan En Wei, were charged last December for renting out four private condo units for less than six months. They faced a maximum fine of $200,000 per charge.