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HomenewsThere Were 163 Complaints About Illegal Foreign Delivery Riders, But Most Were...

There Were 163 Complaints About Illegal Foreign Delivery Riders, But Most Were Unsubstantiated


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Singapore Cracks Down on Illegal Foreign Delivery Riders Amid Rising Complaints

There has been a rising number of complaints surrounding illegal foreign delivery riders.

A parliamentary reply from Manpower Minister Tan See Leng on 7 November 2023 revealed that a whopping 163 complaints about suspected foreign delivery riders were received by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) from 2018 to 18 October 2023. 

MOM’s Investigation and Findings

Upon investigation, Minister Tan uncovered that most of these complaints were “unsubstantiated”. 

In retrospect, many of the foreigners were legitimate work pass holders employed by food and beverage establishments as in-house delivery personnel. Several of the cases lacked information or evidence to warrant any further action. 

As a result, only ten foreigners from the hundred cases were subjected to enforcement actions.

Member of Parliament, Yip Hon Weng, enquired if there are procedures being taken in place to identify such cases. To which, Minister Tan revealed that since food delivery work is decentralised and mobile, MOM relies heavily on complaints to detect these cases. 

The Requirements to be a Food Delivery Rider in Singapore

It comes to no surprise that MOM has a serious stance against illegal employment and enforcement actions will be taken against any individual involved in these acts.

The Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) states that only foreigners with valid work passes are allowed to work in Singapore in the occupation as stated in their work passes. 

Foreigners who are self-employed without a valid work pass, and others found abetting the offence, may be liable to a fine not exceeding $20,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both. Their work pass privileges would also be suspended. Meaning that, they will be permanently barred from working in Singapore.

Just ask Han Feizi.

Food delivery companies such as  foodPanda, Deliveroo and Grab, clearly state that a requirement to be a delivery rider is to be a Singaporean or PR aged 18 years or above on their respective websites.


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Recent Cases

On 10 October this year, MOM reported that three individuals were convicted for working as self-employed foreigners without a valid work pass. 

One of the three foreigners worked as a food delivery rider using MilkRun and LiveExpress applications. He earned around $17,000 from his work and was sentenced to a fine of $10,000. 

As for the two other cases, one foreigner used his Singaporean friend’s account to work as a delivery rider whereas the other used his brother’s (PR) account to work.

Both the Singaporean and the PR were fully aware that their friend and brother did not have valid work passes and hence were convicted for abetting them. As a result, all four of them were fined $3,800 and $5,000 respectively.

The three foreigners were also permanently barred from working in Singapore.

Knowing the consequences of these acts, try to refrain from rebelling against the guidelines unless you’re okay with burning away up to $20,000.

If you come across certain cases and wish to report it, do not publicly berate the suspected individual and instead, make a report to MOM. 

MOM encourages members of the public to report the matter to MOM at 6438 5122 or [email protected]. All information that is shared will be kept strictly confidential.

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