Alleged illegal food delivery riders confronted by Stomper: MOM investigating matter

Submitted by Stomper Teh

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The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is investigating the matter after a video of a man crying and pleading for mercy when he was accused of being an illegal food delivery rider went viral recently.

Stomper Teh was one of the food delivery riders who confronted the man.

The Stomper has also recorded videos of such encounters with other suspected illegal food delivery riders for evidence, which he shared with Stomp.

If he appears rude and overbearing in the videos, he has his reasons.

"I started my own business, but I still do deliveries and cannot just sit on the sidelines. They are stealing jobs from Singaporeans who want to provide for their family," said the Stomper.

It is illegal for foreigners to work as self-employed delivery riders in Singapore.

In 2019, MOM arrested two Malaysians working illegally as food delivery riders in Singapore by using spare accounts of local food delivery riders registered with more than one company.

"I was the person who reported this to MOM four years ago," said the Stomper.

He told The New Paper then that a Malaysian man, who heads the operation, had repeatedly approached local food delivery riders – including his brother – to ask if they had food delivery accounts to spare.

The man started by using the accounts himself to make food deliveries and gave the account owners 5 per cent of his earnings. He eventually recruited motorcyclists from across the Causeway, and let them use the accounts he had accumulated in exchange for a 30 per cent cut of their takings.

Teh told Stomp: "In 2019, MOM launched an operation to catch the illegal food delivery riders, but it stopped during the Covid period. Now with the reopening of the border, they are back again."

He added: "I can only do so much as an individual."

In response to a Stomp query, an MOM spokesman said that the ministry is investigating the matter.

The spokesman added: "Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, any foreigner working without a valid work pass or moonlighting, and others found abetting the offence, may face a fine of up to $20,000 or imprisonment of up to two years, or both. Foreigners found guilty may also be barred from working in Singapore.

"We are also investigating whether delivery workers have allowed their accounts with delivery services companies to be used by unauthorised parties, and hence liable for an abetment offence.

"MOM has also contacted the delivery platform companies to ask what they are doing to prevent the misuse of accounts of legitimate delivery workers by unauthorised parties and ensure the effectiveness of these measures."

So what are the food delivery companies doing to prevent the misuse?

When contacted by Stomp, a Grab spokesman said: 

Grab has a robust process for registration and verification of delivery-partners and to prevent account sharing.

For instance, delivery-partners are required to upload their identification details during sign-up. The team will then conduct a series of checks and verifications against the information submitted. 

Accounts will only be approved when applicants satisfy all necessary requirements. We also have a selfie-verification feature within the app that regularly prompts our partners to authenticate their identity before they can be assigned order bookings.

Delivery-partners who do not fulfil any of the above requirements during the registration and verification process will not be able to do deliveries on our platform.

Our Code of Conduct for partners is publicly available, which also outlines examples of infringements that can lead to suspension or termination of driver-partner’s accounts with Grab. Our Terms of Service is also publicly available, and clearly states that our partners should not authorise others to use their identity or use status.

In response to a Stomp query, Deliveroo said:

"All riders who work with Deliveroo must have the right to work in Singapore. We require all riders to be either a Singapore citizen or a permanent resident. As part of our onboarding process, we ask all prospective riders to provide documents showing they have the right to work.

"Riders who may choose to engage substitutes are also contractually responsible for ensuring that their substitutes also have the right to work in Singapore.

"We have a number of measures to identify fraudulent behaviour and keep these measures under regular review. We are also actively exploring additional ways that Deliveroo can ensure our riders are complying with the key terms of their agreements, including the requirement to ensure any substitutes also comply with the right to work.

"We are continuing to examine other ways to verify a rider’s identity and establish and monitor their right to work, including trialling and rolling-out facial verification checks across our markets with the aim of bringing this to Singapore soon.

"Deliveroo regularly reminds riders about their obligations with regards to their usage of the app, and we encourage all riders to report anyone they believe to be in violation of these rules in a respectable manner.

"Deliveroo has a zero tolerance approach on unauthorised substitution and takes this extremely seriously, including fully investigating any concerns that may arise and taking appropriate action where necessary."

Foodpanda earlier told Stomp: "We have put in place measures to prevent such frauds. It is mandatory for delivery partners to complete a selfie verification before the start of every shift to prevent identity fraud and to protect their own accounts. Failure to do so can lead to account suspension and potential blacklist."