10 EPF Members Convicted And Sentenced By Courts For Making Fraudulent Withdrawals
Ten members of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have been found guilty by the courts between April and June 2010 for making fraudulent withdrawals, demonstrating the Fund’s persistent effort to safeguard members’ retirement savings.
In a statement issued today, EPF General Manager for Public Relations, Encik Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “Fraudulent withdrawals, which involve the submission of false documents by members to facilitate the approval of withdrawal from their own account, are a serious offence under the EPF Act 1991.
“As the custodian of members’ retirement savings, it is our responsibility to ensure that members do not deplete their EPF savings through dishonest means and anyone who commits this offence will face legal action.”
All 10 members who have been found guilty were sentenced and fined by the courts with one member receiving the maximum fine of RM10,000. Six of them are also facing possible jail terms of up to two months should they fail to pay the fines.
During the same period, a total of 26 court summons have been filed for fraudulent withdrawals. These members, including the 10 already sentenced, have been charged under Section 59, EPF Act 1991.
Under the Act, members who have been found guilty of fraudulent withdrawal, or attempted fraudulent withdrawal, are liable to a maximum jail sentence of three years or a RM10,000 fine, or both. Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned. Those who fail to return the amount or return the amount after six months from the conviction date will forever lose their right to make that particular withdrawal.
Encik Nik Affendi also highlighted that there have been many cases where guilty members were found to have been helped by syndicates who target members who are financially in need.
“Members are advised not to fall prey to these malicious ploys, as their main intention is not to help the members but to take advantage of their vulnerability,” he said. “Instead, members who wish to make withdrawal applications are urged to deal directly with the EPF as its services are free of charge. This is important to avoid their hard-earned money from falling into the wrong hands and have their retirement savings deplete prematurely.”
Members are also strongly advised to lodge a report with the EPF should there be any instances of fraud or attempts at fraud by calling the EPF Anti-Fraud Hotline at 03-2616 2121 during working hours from Monday to Friday.
“While the EPF will do its best to safeguard their savings, members must also be conscious of their responsibility in their own retirement wellbeing,” he said.
About the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is Malaysia’s premier retirement savings fund to help its members achieve adequate savings for a comfortable retirement. This is in line with EPF’s vision to help members achieve a better future and the mission to safeguard members’ savings and deliver excellent services. The EPF has evolved significantly from transaction-centric to a professional fund management organisation with a strong focus on retirement security. The EPF is guided by a robust and professional governance framework when making investment decisions. It continues to play a catalytic role in the nation’s economic growth and seeks to cultivate a savings and investment culture among its members to improve the country’s financial literacy level.