KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund has introduced four compulsory procedures to tighten controls on its death withdrawal scheme following a fraudulent withdrawal case uncovered last month.
EPF deputy chief executive officer (operations) Mohd Zabidi Dasuki said yesterday that the new procedures were aimed at preventing a recurrence of such fraud but warned that delays in the approval process would result for applications under the scheme.
He said EPF officers were now required to verify the authenticity of the death certificates with the National Registration Department (NRD) and other issuing parties such as the police and hospitals.
All nominations updated within the last six months prior to an application for death withdrawal, would also undergo more stringent checks to ensure that the changes were genuine, he said.
Mohd Zabidi said these two procedures were expected to cause some delays in the process.
A third requirement was for officers to verify the authenticity of the applicant/nominee with the NRD.
The final requirement was for all applicants to open a bank account to enable the withdrawal payments to be made directly to their bank account.
This, he said, was because banks had specific measures and controls for opening and withdrawing funds from accounts.
In the scam detected last month, a woman using a fake identity card tried to withdraw RM90,000 in cash and another RM60,000 through a bank draft from the account of the beneficiary of an EPF member.
Mohd Zabidi said the case was an example of how the bank controls worked to detect a fraudulent withdrawal.
“The EPF will take all action available to prevent such an incident from recurring,” he said.
On last month's case, Mohd Zabidi clarified that the withdrawal was made from an active account based on all the necessary documents presented and was not made from an unclaimed EPF account as reported in some newspapers.
He said the EPF received an application from one Masayu Abdul Talib on Jan 29 to withdraw the savings of Ab. Talib Ab. Rahmat, a deceased member, as Masayu was named as the beneficiary.
The application was supported by the necessary documents as per the EPF requirement which included the member's death certificate issued by the NRD, he said.
It was approved on Feb 4 after it was verified, and a cheque for RM322,488.02 was sent on Feb 7 to Masayu.
“There was nothing to indicate the application was not genuine,” he said.
He said the case was detected as a fraudulent withdrawal when a woman, using a fake identity card, tried to withdraw RM90,000 in cash and RM60,000 through a bank draft from Masayu's account.
The bank detected the fake identity card and she was arrested by police.
Mohd Zabidi added that internal probe by the EPF showed that the withdrawal might have been done in collaboration with an officer who approved the application. The officer, he said, had been missing since the case came to light.
EPF chairman Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali said once the police completed its report, the EPF would submit a separate report to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the matter.
Meanwhile Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Abu Bakar Mustaffa said police were seeking Aziz Endut, 47, deputy manager of the Death Withdrawal Division of the EPF headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut to help in investigations into the case, reports ANDREW SAGAYAM.
Aziz has three known addresses: 3-7-9 Kondo Genting court, Jalan Genting Klang, Setapak; C-7-09 Palm Courts, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields and No 33 Jalan SG 2/2, Taman Sri Gombak, Batu Caves.
SAC II Abu Bakar said police are also looking for a man only known as Pak Mat, in his 60s, who is believed to have some connection with Aziz.
Those with information on their whereabouts can contact ASP S. Muniandy at 03-7956 2222 ext 343.
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