Five EPF Members Found Guilty Of Fraudulent Withdrawals
As part of efforts to keep fraudulent activities at bay, five Employees Provident Fund (EPF) members have been convicted by the courts for the period between January and March 2012 (Q1 2012) for making or attempts at making fraudulent withdrawals.
All five members, who have been charged under Section 59, EPF Act 1991, were fined a total of RM10,500 by the courts for the said offence involving EPF housing withdrawals. Out of the five offenders, three face possible jail terms of up to two months in the event that they fail to pay the fines.
In a statement issued today, EPF General Manager for Public Relations Nik Affendi Jaafar said, “The court actions validate EPF’s commitment in combating fraudulent withdrawals among members as well as reiterate our zero-tolerance policy towards fraud of any kind.”
“Members are strongly cautioned from ever getting mixed up in fraudulent withdrawals as EPF processes are carefully designed to allow it to detect members who have made fraudulent withdrawals even after the savings have been successfully withdrawn. Those involved will be reported to the police and will face the legal consequences,” he said.
Fraudulent withdrawals involve 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Once convicted, members who return the amount withdrawn within six months from the conviction date may only be allowed to apply for the same withdrawal after two years from the date the amount is returned.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.
“We are aware that there are members who do not operate independently but are coached by third parties or syndicates who target desperate members in dire need of money. Members are advised not to fall for these ploys, as their main intention is not to help the members but to take advantage of their vulnerability by offering so-called assistance to help them withdraw their EPF savings fraudulently in return for a fee,” Nik Affendi said.
He added that members who wish to apply for EPF withdrawals should go directly to the EPF who does not charge any fee for its services. The process of making EPF withdrawals is straightforward as long as all conditions are met such as the submission of relevant genuine documents. The use of correction fluid on withdrawal forms and documents is also strictly prohibited.
“Members are urged to give their support in our fight against fraudulent withdrawals. Anyone who wishes to report any instances of fraud can do so by calling EPF Anti-Fraud Hotline at 03-2616 2121during working hours from Monday to Friday,” stated 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.