16 EPF Members Convicted By Courts For Fraudulent Withdrawals
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today announced that 16 EPF members have been convicted by the courts for making fraudulent withdrawals.
The convictions, which were for the period between January and March 2010, formed part of EPF’s efforts to eradicate fraudulent withdrawals activities by members.
All 16 members were sentenced and fined by the courts with 12 of them facing possible jail terms of up to four months should they fail to pay the fines.
In a statement issued, EPF General Manager for Public Relations Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “The court actions taken clearly demonstrate EPF’s zero-tolerance policy towards any kind of fraud. Let it be known that we will not hesitate to take action against any member found to be involved in fraudulent withdrawals.”
During the same period, 29 court summons have also been filed for fraudulent withdrawals. These members, including the 16 who were 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 Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned.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.
Fraudulent withdrawals involve the submission of false documents by the members to facilitate the approval of withdrawal from their own account.
Several scam cases involving education, health and housing withdrawals using forged documents were reported to the EPF in the past years. The EPF however has its own method to determine whether each application is genuine or indeed a scam.
“We have our own systems in place to enable us to detect any fraudulent withdrawals or attempted fraudulent withdrawals. Dishonest members are warned that they would not go unnoticed and there will be repercussions for their actions,” said Nik Affendi.
Members are advised to deal directly with the EPF to apply for their withdrawal applications and avoid seeking assistance from third parties or syndicates. Should there be any instances of fraud or attempts at fraud, members can lodge their reports by calling the EPF Anti-Fraud Hotline at03-2616 2121during working hours from Monday to Friday.
“We would like to reiterate to members that their savings in the EPF are intended for their retirement. Members are urged not to get involved or be influenced by any syndicates which offer them assistance to withdraw their savings in the EPF prematurely through illegal ways,” said Nik Affendi.
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.