Jail term for illegal travel agent

SINGAPORE, 28 September 2023: The Singapore Tourism Board reported this week that State Courts had handed out a prison sentence on an individual who had conducted unlicensed travel agent activities in 2019.

The STB statement concluded that Singaporean national Rasman Bin Saridin (alias Rasman) has been convicted in the State Courts for carrying on the business of a travel agent without a valid travel agent licence in contravention of Section 6(1) of the Travel Agents Act. 

He was also convicted of offences under the Penal Code. Rasman faced 22 charges and was convicted and sentenced on five charges. He will serve a sentence of 11 months and two weeks imprisonment for contravening the Travel Agents Act and offences under the Penal Code and Bankruptcy Act. 

The remaining 17 charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.

STB’s action goes back to a complaint from a consumer in November 2019 that an Umrah travel package he paid for had not been fulfilled. 

Investigations revealed that Rasman had conducted unlicensed travel agent activities in 2019, during which he sold religious Umrah travel packages affecting 56 individuals and collected payments amounting to more than SGD79,000. STB also established that Rasman failed to fulfil the Umrah trips, having already collected payments.

STB’s media statement concluded it “takes a serious view of those who engage in unlicensed travel agent activities and will not hesitate to take action to protect consumers’ interests and uphold the reputation of Singapore’s tourism sector.”

Under Section 6(2) of the Travel Agents Act, any person found guilty of carrying on the business of a travel agent without a valid travel agent licence faces a maximum fine of SGD25,000 and/or up to two years imprisonment.

“The public is advised to exercise due diligence when making travel arrangements, such as only purchasing their travel packages from licensed travel agents and purchasing travel insurance to protect themselves against unforeseen circumstances. 

For the latest list of licensed travel agents in Singapore.

For more information visit STB’s TRUST website https://trust.stb.gov.sg