Twenty-five foreigners pleaded guilty to “submitting forged academic certificates to the Controller of Work Passes in order to obtain work passes” on Tuesday, 16 July 2013, reported Channel NewsAsia. (Link)

The 20 males and five females are aged between 19 and 48 years old. Twenty-one are from Myanmar, three from India and one from the Philippines. All except one, the news story said,

“had obtained forged academic certificates from their home countries and used them to apply for work passes. The 25th person knew that a forged academic certificate was submitted on her behalf by an employment agent and intentionally failed to notify MOM.”The news story added that all the accused did not posses university degree qualifications.

While the story did not say how many applied for Employment Passes and how many for S Passes, the mention on university degree qualifications suggests that all 25 cases related to Employment Passes. A university degree is not required for S Passes.

Channel NewsAsia continued:

“The 25 accused were issued with work passes to perform work in operations, sales and retail. Based on the information declared, the 25 accused had been working less than a year here before they were arrested and investigated in May.

All 25 accused pleaded guilty to the charges on Tuesday.

Of the 25, 20 were each sentenced to four weeks’ jail. The remaining five accused were fined S$5,000.

MOM said these five were unable to pay up their fines so they would be serving the default sentence of 20 days’ jail.”

On this site is a story of a woman from Rajasthan who was recently convicted for submitting false educational documents. See Beautician relies entirely on agent who puts her on path to jail. She was not one of the 25 persons in the above story, and her experience may not represent the histories of those 25.

However, her story provides a lot more insight into the way such cases can develop — where the weak and uneducated are duped by agents who promise jobs in Singapore.