The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) recently lodged two police reports in connection with 39 cases of fraudulent and attempted fraudulent withdrawals in Kedah under the Incapacitation and Housing Withdrawals.
The report was lodged by Kedah state office Assistant Managers Mohamed Yusof Othman and Mohamad Fadzir Alias at the Balai Polis Sungai Petani in connection with 35 cases of fraudulent and attempted fraudulent withdrawals under the Incapacitation Withdrawal.
Another police report was also lodged against four members who had fraudulently withdrawn their EPF savings under the Housing Withdrawal. The report was made by Norhayati Ahmad, Deputy Manager of the Kedah state office.
Forged medical reports, purportedly issued by government hospitals, were used to withdraw the money under the Incapacitation Withdrawal. The medical reports stated that the members concerned were medically unfit to work.
The cases were detected by a visiting team from the EPF's Internal Audit Department. An extensive investigation was launched, involving a reassessment of documents submitted for the application. The findings exposed "copycat" contents in the medical reports citing similar conditions, blurred names and signatures of doctors and incomplete letterheads of the "issuing" hospitals.
Members who had fraudulently withdrawn under the Housing Withdrawal were found to have used falsified approval letters for home loans. The EPF investigation team had referred the documents to the banks which purportedly issued the letters. Each letter was later declared a falsified document by the respective banks.
"We take a serious view of fraudulent withdrawals and the fact that we have made police reports in the Klang Valley, Penang, Perak, Sarawak and now in Kedah, is a testimony of our resolve to end this unhealthy practice," said Nik Affendi Jaafar, EPF's Senior Public Relations Manager.
"It is sad that some members have to resort to fraudulent means to withdraw their savings. What is even sadder is that some of them will not get the full sum withdrawn as a large portion of such withdrawals goes to pay third parties," he added.
"The EPF would like to urge members to stay away from syndicates that prey on gullible victims to fraudulently withdraw their own hard-earned money. Cooperating with these syndicates will not only result in the members' loss of their own money, but could also land them in jail," he added.
Under Section 59 of the EPF Act 1991, anyone found guilty of fraudulently withdrawing from the EPF can be jailed a maximum of three years or fined RM10,000 or both.
Nik Affendi said the existence of fraudulent withdrawals and attempted withdrawals had resulted in a more thorough scrutiny of each and every application.
"This is a time-consuming procedure which could result in delays in approval. We appeal to members to bear with us but we feel that such steps are necessary to ensure members do not deplete their old age savings by making fraudulent withdrawals," he said.
Members can assist the EPF by ensuring that they submit complete supporting documents with their application to avoid delays.
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.