EPF Fraudulent Withdrawals - 17 EPF Members Convicted By Court In Q4 2010
The Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) stern action at curbing fraudulent activities has led to the conviction of 17 members during the fourth quarter of 2010 (Q4) for their involvement in fraudulent withdrawals.
All 17 members were convicted and fined by the courts with 12 of them facing possible jail terms of up to six months should they fail to pay the fines.
In a statement issued today, EPF General Manager for Public Relations Encik Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “These convictions are evidence of our resolve to ensure the safety of our member’s retirement fund. We have a zero-tolerance policy against fraud and members can rest assure that we will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone who are involved in fraudulent activities.”
In the period between January and December 2010, a total of 74 court summons have been filed against EPF members for their involvement in making fraudulent EPF withdrawals under housing, incapacitation and education.
During the same period, 56 EPF members have been found guilty by the courts for fraudulent withdrawals while a total of 61 cases are currently still pending court action.
Under the EPF Act 1991, those 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. Those convicted members who return the amount of money withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned.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 do so will forever lose their right to make that particular withdrawal.
Nik Affendi also advises members to keep their guards up against individual or syndicates that might approach them with tempting but unlawful offers to withdraw their EPF savings prematurely and to report to the EPF or police immediately if this were to happen.
“We appeal to members to give us their cooperation in helping us combat any fraudulent activities. Anyone who wishes to report any instances of fraud can do so by calling EPF Fraud Hotline at03-2616 2121 during working hours from Monday to Friday,” he said.
At the same time, members are also reminded that if they wish to make any withdrawal applications, they should deal directly with the EPF.
“They should not seek any assistance from a third party as the process of making EPF withdrawals is straightforward provided that all conditions are met. Our officers are ever ready to assist members and more importantly, our services are free of charge,” 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.