SINGAPORE: Two Indian nationals were on Tuesday jailed for declaring false educational qualification from an Indian university in their applications for obtaining work passes in Singapore.Bailwal Sunil Dutt was sentenced to one week in jail, while Sutradhar Bijoy got four weeks, The Straits Times reported.The Ministry Of Manpower (MOM), which received their work pass applications, said their work passes have been revoked and they have been permanently barred from working in Singapore.Another Indian work pass holder, Bhandare Raghavendra, has also been charged for the same offence and is required to appear in court on August 5.According to the MOM, the three men had declared qualification from Indian Manav Bharti University (MBU) in their applications submitted in February this year.They were among 23 foreigners investigated for the offence. Of the remaining 20 individuals, 19 have also been permanently barred from future employment in Singapore, while further investigation is underway for one person.While MOM conducts checks on qualifications, “it is difficult to detect institutions such as MBU, which are approved by the foreign government’s authorities and issuing genuine degrees while selling fakes,” a ministry spokesperson said.“Nevertheless, MOM regularly reviews and strengthens measures to maintain the integrity of the work pass framework,” the spokesman said, adding that firm action would be taken against the offenders.Individuals, who provide false declarations, face a fine of up to SGD 20,000 (USD 14,714) and up to two years in jail.In the past five years, the ministry has detected and permanently barred an average of 660 foreigners for a year from working in Singapore for submitting fake educational qualifications in work pass applications, the MOM said in its statement.In the same period, an average of eight foreigners a year were prosecuted for such offences.Employers have the primary responsibility to ensure that qualifications provided by potential employees are genuine, it said.“Before hiring, the employer should have already evaluated the candidates… to ensure that they have the right skills and qualification for the position they applied for,” the Singapore daily quoted the MOM as saying. (PTI)
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