Two foreign workers have been convicted for making fraudulent compensation claims for injuries they claimed they suffered at work.
Staged fall down flight of stairs
Singh Arshdeep, an Indian national employee of Enlighten Furniture Pte Ltd, claimed to have sustained various injuries after falling backwards down a flight of stairs while carrying a wooden box while working on March 5, 2019.
He filed for compensation.
However, the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) investigations revealed that while Singh did fall, the incident was staged.
Footage from the company’s CCTV showed Singh loitering around the accident location before the incident, appearing to be rehearsing the accident.
Shortly afterwards, he picked up the wooden box and slowly went up the staircase. When other workers appeared in the vicinity, he slowly leaned backwards, threw the wooden box behind him and fell down the staircase.
Investigations also showed that he was not tasked to carry the wooden box to carry out his work.
Singh was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment for making a fraudulent claim under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA).
He was also sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment for providing false information to an investigation officer from MOM. Both sentences will run concurrently.
Injury sustained outside of work
Rohoman Md Shimul was a Bangladeshi national working for Kim Bock Contractor Pte Ltd. His employer filed a claim on his behalf on Aug. 16, 2019.
The company said that about a month prior to the filing, Rohoman injured his right hand while meeting a friend outside his worksite.
Rohoman was then informed by MOM that his claim did not qualify as his injury was not sustained out of and in the course of his employment.
He then filed another claim by himself and said that he sustained the injury at work.
Investigations by MOM revealed that Rohoman’s account differed from that of two supervisors from his company.
Rohoman had told them separately on two occasions that he had fallen and injured himself when meeting a friend outside of the worksite.
Rohoman was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment for making a fraudulent claim under WICA. One charge of making a false statement to an investigation officer from MOM was also taken into consideration for purposes of sentencing.
WICA is meant to help workers
In their press release, MOM says they take all compensation claims serious. They also said the scheme is meant to provide workers with a low-cost and speedier alternative to common law to settle such claims, and that making a fake claim is a waste of time, resources and is an "objectionable act of deceit".
"Under the WICA, those convicted of making fraudulent claims for compensation may be fined up to $15,000 and/or jailed up to 12 months, while those convicted of furnishing false information to the Commissioner or an investigation officer may be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to six months."
Top image from MOM's Facebook page.