A hostel operator has been hit with 50 charges by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower for providing poor living conditions for foreign workers.

Some 50 workers were found to be living in exceptionally harsh conditions – at Ama Keng Hostel in Ama Keng Road – that threatened their safety and well-being, according to a report in Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) on the weekend. It said the hostel was operated by Yeo’s Brother Management Pte Ltd.

An investigation by ministry officials found the purpose-built dormitory had unsanitary toilets and severe problems with cockroaches, mosquitoes and flies. Fire hazards were also noted in the building.

To protect the safety and well-being of the foreign workers, the officials immediately ordered the operator to relocate the affected residents to other approved accommodation.

Currently, the accused company has been denied a license under the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act (FEDA) and operations have ceased at the dormitory it inspected.

Hearings related to these charges began at the State Court on September 28, but the matter has been adjourned till October 19 for further mention.

Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA), the accused company could be fined up to S$10,000 (US$7,358) for each charge.