22 EPF Members Found Guilty Of Fraudulent Withdrawals
Diligent efforts by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to curb fraudulent activities among its members have led to the conviction of 22 members during the third quarter 2011 (July -September) for their involvement in fraudulent withdrawals.
The 22 members found guilty were fined a total of RM17,400 by the courts for the said offence involving EPF housing withdrawals. Out of the 22, one was sentenced to imprisonment while 16 face possible jail term of up to six months should they fail to pay the fine.
In a statement issued today, EPF General Manager for Public Relations Encik Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “It is our priority at the EPF to ensure our members’ savings continue to be safeguarded and this includes taking legal action against members found guilty of withdrawing their retirement savings prematurely via fraudulent means.”
A total of five new court summons have also been filed under the same offense during the same period.
Under Section 59 of the EPF Act 1991, 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Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned.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 not be allowed to make that particular withdrawal anymore.
“Fraudulent withdrawal involves the submission of false documents by a member to facilitate the approval of withdrawal from his or her own account. As each withdrawal application and accompanying documents are thoroughly reviewed and checked with relevant parties to ensure its genuineness, we have a system in place to detect and identify members who have made fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings have been successfully withdrawn,” said Nik Affendi.
Additionally, EPF officers are constantly updated with the latest information concerning fraud cases specifically on the modus operandi used by members or syndicates.
“Members need to be cautious of syndicates who offer so-called assistance to members to help them withdraw their EPF savings fraudulently in return for an exorbitant fee. Eligible members who wish to withdraw their EPF savings should deal directly with the EPF which does not charge for its services,” Nik Affendi stated.
In addition, the process of making an EPF withdrawal is easy as long as all conditions are met including the submission of relevant genuine documents, he said.
Members are urged to give their support in EPF’s combat against fraud. Anyone wishing to report any instances of fraud or attempts at fraud can do so by calling the EPF Anti-Fraud Hotline at 03-2616 2121during working hours from Monday to Friday.
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.