On 17 September 2020, Channel NewsAsia carried this story:
General manager fined for wrongful confinement of three foreign workers
A 41-year-old man was fined S$9,000 for wrongfully confining three of his workers for a total of 42 days between May and June this year.
Shaun Pang Tong Heng, the general manager of manufacturing company Ad-Meth Mech-Field, pleaded guilty in the State Courts on Thursday (Sep 17) to three charges of wrongful confinement.
The link to the rest of the news article is: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/general-manager-fined-wrongful-confinement-foreign-workers-13121036
TWC2 had no involvement in this case.
From the news story, the workers involved had names that suggest they might have been migrant workers from India. Two of them, Pandiyan Jayakanthan and Ganesan Pandi, were considered by the General Manager Shaun Pang to be “harassing” another employee, Muthuraj Thangaraj.
Pang then decided to “lock them up” in a 3.4m by 4.3m room, with bathroom, though they were moved to another room three days later.
Another three days later, the men escaped. When found (or caught?), the men were kept for 39 more days in a “confined area”, described as being surrounded with metal fencing and secured by a padlock.
Finally, one of the men contacted the Ministry of Manpower whose officers ordered that Pang release them.
Pang was fined $3,000 for each of the three charges of wrongful confinement.
The Penal Code has provisions against wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement. They are:
What is interesting is that, going by the press report, the foreign workers were hardly angels themselves. Even so, the State clearly felt that prosecution was meritted, demonstrating the importance of respecting workers’ right to free movement.