Straits Times, November 21, 2011 :

Fewer than 250 foreign workers went missing each year between 2008 and last year, which worked out to an average of about 20 workers a month.

Most were eventually found and repatriated, said a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesman, who added that not all the employers’ security deposits were forfeited.

As of August, there were 1.05 million foreigners working here, making up close to a third of Singapore’s total workforce.

Of these, about 870,000 were work permit holders, who earned below $2,000 a month.

Under MOM regulations, employers must furnish a $5,000 security bond before a foreign worker arrives.

The employer must file a report with the police and cancel the work permit within seven days of knowing the worker is missing.

For workers whose work permits have not expired, employers will be given a month to find them. The security deposit will be forfeited if the worker is not found by then.

If the work permit has expired at the time of cancellation, the security deposit will be forfeited. But if the worker is eventually found, or in cases in which the employers have assisted the authorities to locate the person, they can apply for a refund.