Yahoo News reported on 15 September 2011 that 18 workers from China were recently jailed four weeks each for submitting false educational qualifications in order to secure jobs in Singapore. The full article can be read here. Many of those accused pleaded with the court to understand that they had done so under duress, as the recruitment fee they had paid would not be refunded.
One of the workers, Liu Demin, 36, had pleaded to the court for leniency when his case was heard on Tuesday, saying that he had paid a substantial amount to the agent. Speaking to the court interpreter in Mandarin, he said, “If I did not follow his instructions (about the forged degree certificate), I would not get the money back. I have to support sickly parents and two school-going children.”
— Yahoo News, 15 Sept 2011, 18 Chinese nationals jailed over fake degrees
Although they were made to do lowly cleaning jobs, they had been hired under Employment and S Passes, for which the minimum monthly salaries are currently $3,000 and $2,000. Yahoo News reported that:
The workers were each paid a monthly salary of S$2,650 which was transferred into their bank accounts, but after payday, they each had to return around S$1,600 to a man sent by their employer.
TWC2 was quoted in the article:
While such scams are not new, non-governmental group Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) said this is the largest case of employers using workers with fake certificates. Its spokesman alleged that the employers use the scam to get around the dependency ceiling imposed by MOM.