EPF Continues Its Combat Against Fraudulent Withdrawals
8 EPF Members Charged and Sentenced by Courts
Eight members of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have been found guilty by the courts for making fraudulent EPF withdrawals between April and June 2009. The strict action taken against these members was the result of EPF’s continuous effort to safeguard members’ retirement savings.
“The EPF had earlier this year launched the Anti-Fraud and Whistleblowing Policies to heighten the prevention and detection of wrongdoings. The effort, coupled with a stringent approach taken by the EPF in handling cases of fraud, has resulted in a number of fraudulent withdrawals and attempted fraudulent withdrawals being uncovered,” said Encik Nik Affendi Jaafar, EPF General Manager for Public Relations.
All eight members were sentenced and fined by the courts with two of them facing possible jail terms should they fail to pay the fines.
As at 30 June 2009, a total of 65 court summons have been filed for fraudulent withdrawals. These members, including the eight who were already sentenced, have been charged under Section 59 of the 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 Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned.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 sixth months from the conviction date will forever lose their right to make that particular withdrawal.
“The EPF is aware of the fact that some members do not operate on their own but are coached by third parties or syndicates who target members who appear desperate and in dire need of money. 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,” said Encik Nik Affendi.
In the past, several scams involving education, health and housing withdrawals came to light whereby members had submitted forged documents to facilitate the approval of these withdrawals. These offenders were subsequently charged and sentenced by the courts.
“We want our members to know that we have zero-tolerance when it comes to fraud. As the custodian of members’ savings, the EPF will always strive to the utmost to ensure that their savings remain protected for their retirement wellbeing,” concludes Encik 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.