Courts Convict 14 EPF Members For Making Fraudulent Withdrawals
As part of EPF’s continuous effort to stamp out fraudulent withdrawals, 14 Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members have been convicted by the courts for the period between July and September 2010 for making or attempts at making fraudulent withdrawals.
In a statement issued today, EPF General Manager for Public Relations Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “The court actions clearly reaffirm EPF’s commitment in combating fraudulent withdrawals among members as well as reiterating its zero-tolerance policy towards any kind of fraud.
“All 14 members, who have been charged under Section 59, EPF Act 1991, have been sentenced and fined a total of RM12,950 by the courts. Out of the 14, one was also sentenced to three months’ jail, while nine face possible jail terms of up to two months should they fail to pay the fines.”
Fraudulent withdrawals entail the submission of falsified documents by members to facilitate the approval of withdrawal from their own account.
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 Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned.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.
With a number of scam cases involving education, health and housing withdrawals using forged documents being reported to the EPF in the past years, the EPF has developed its own method to determine whether each application is genuine or indeed a scam.
“Dishonest members should be forewarned that the EPF has processes and systems in place to allow it to detect any fraudulent withdrawals or attempts at fraudulent withdrawals,” Nik Affendi said.
He added that EPF processes are carefully designed to enable it to detect members who have made fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings have been successfully withdrawn.
“In due course, those involved will be reported to the police and will have to face the legal consequences,” he warned.
Members who wish to apply for any EPF withdrawals are strongly advised not to seek help from third parties or syndicates but to go directly to the EPF who does not charge any fees for its services. Members can report any instances of fraud by calling the EPF Anti-Fraud Hotline at 03-2616 2121 during working hours from Monday to Friday.
“As members are well aware, EPF savings are exclusively intended for their retirement needs. Members will only be at the losing end if they were to resort to illegal means to withdraw their EPF savings prematurely,” 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.