The authorities have arrested 41 people who were involved in a syndicate which brought in illegal foreign labor, MOM said in a statement today.

The 41 – including the alleged mastermind – were nabbed during an islandwide enforcement operation between 1st and 2nd July.

According to the statement, the syndicate had circumvented Singapore’s labor laws by setting up shell companies to bring in the foreign workers. Once they bring in the foreign workers, those who did not know about the scam would end up paying for their own costs of living in Singapore and struggling to find employment or ways to survive.

Some workers who knew that they were being brought over as part of a scam paid large sums of money for the chance to come to Singapore and seek illegal employment.

Syndicate members can face up to 2 years jail, fined up to $6000 or both for every illegal worker they brought over. If convicted of at least 6 similar offences, they may also face caning.

Employers who hire illegal foreign workers can be fined up to $30,000 or be jailed up to 12 months, or both.

They may also be barred from employing foreign workers.

Foreigners who work without valid work passes can be fined up to $20,000 or be jailed up to 24 months, or both. They may also be barred from working in Singapore.

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