An Indian national working in Singapore has been jailed for making a fraudulent work injury compensation claim against his employer, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday. Singh Arshdeep was convicted on March 10 and was sentenced to four weeks in prison for his fraudulent claim under the Work Injury Compensation Act, and three weeks in prison for providing false information to an MOM investigation officer.
Singh's two sentences will run concurrently, according to a Channel News Asia report. On August 5, 2019, Singh filed a work injury compensation claim against his employer, Enlighten Furniture, alleging that he had sustained injuries to his left middle finger, left index finger, left shoulder, back and left knee.
Singh said the injuries were a result of him falling backwards down a staircase while carrying a wooden box in the course of his work on March 5 the same year. Investigations by MOM revealed that while Singh did indeed sustain a fall, the incident was staged, the ministry said.
Footage from the company's closed-circuit television showed Singh loitering around the accident location before the incident. He appeared to be rehearsing the accident. Shortly after, 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," it said.
Investigations also showed that he was not tasked to carry the wooden box to carry out his work, the ministry added. In a similar case, Rohoman Md Shimul, a Bangladeshi national, was sentenced to four weeks in prison on Tuesday, with one charge of making a false statement to an MOM investigation officer taken into consideration for sentencing.
On August 16, 2019, Rohoman's employer Kim Bock Contractor filed an incident report on his behalf stating that he had sustained an injury to his right hand while meeting a friend outside his worksite in July the same year. The Work Injury Compensation Act serves to provide workers who are injured in work-related accidents with a quick and low-cost alternative to common law to settle compensation claims, the MOM said, adding that it takes all claims seriously.
Making a fraudulent work injury compensation claim is not only an abuse of investigative resources, but also an objectionable act of deceit, the ministry said. As such, all errant claimants will be taken to task. Those convicted of making fraudulent claims under the Work Injury Compensation Act may be fined up to SGD 15,000 (USD 11,169), jailed for up to 12 months, or both. For providing false information to the Commissioner for Labour or an investigation officer, offenders can be fined up to SGD 5,000 (USD 3,722), jailed for up to six months, or both.