A Pinay, Celeste Provido Apostol has been charged with making false declarations in several work pass applications, according to the Ministry of Manpower.

Celeste Provido Apostol, 36, was charged with 32 counts of making false declarations in work pass applications and a count of carrying out the activities of an employment agency without a licence, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a news release. She pleaded guilty to 16 charges and the other 17 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The Pinay who was working as a marketing manager in Singapore between 2009 and 2011, had helped foreigners obtain work permits for foreign domestic workers (FDW). However, the foreigners had no intention of working as FDWs. She worked with “recruiters” to look for these foreigners who wanted work permits to validate their stay in Singapore, as well as locals who were willing to provide their particulars as “employers” for monetary gain.

She had been helping foreigners illegally stay in Singapore by submitting work permits for them to be approved as maids. She would use the particulars she obtained to arrange for work pass application forms to be submitted to MOM between June 2009 and March 2013. In total, she found 27 foreigners and 21 locals to take part in the scam, and she collected between S$3,500 and S$4,000 from each foreigner. None of the work permit holders were found to be working as maids. Instead these illegal Pinoys were found working as performers, freelance cleaners and manicurists.

The foreigners involved in the scam were fined between S$3,000 and S$10,000, and sentenced to four weeks’ jail. They will be sent home and permanently barred from working in Singapore according to the Ministry of Manpower. The locals who pretended to be bogus employers will be banned from hiring any foreign workers.

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