Friday, 23 May 2008 2:43 PM

SBD$1 Million in NPF Contributions Missing

The country's only social security body, the National Provident Fund has again come under the spot light of the media following revelations that millions of dollars had gone missing over a period of time.

Earlier this week, the Finance Manager John Veo and other two senior finance officers, Roland Maepeza and Moses Perry were suspended pending the NPF board's decision.

The missing funds were detected when an internal audit was carried out. After the revelation the NPF management then launched an investigation into the missing funds. During the investigation Mr. Maepeza named John Veo the Finance Manager and Moses Perry as partners in the scandal.

Our sources have revealed that the scam has been going on for some time and have defrauded the NPF close to SBD $1million. The source said the fraudulent activities were only detected when GPPOL enquired earlier this year about a cheque worth more than $100,000 paid to the Fund for its members' contribution but was not deposited into the Member's accounts. The source said the three suspended officers became immediate suspects because they were also the three signatories for all NPF cheque.

Other fraudulent activities reported to be ongoing within the Fund are, reports of officers withdrawing funds from inactive accounts. When NPF published names of those that have accounts with NPF that were inactive for almost ten years, many people came forward to claim their contribution only to find out that there was no fund left in their account.

Furthermore, the source said officers within the Fund have collaborated with members of the public who have retired and withdrawn their contribution to make second withdrawal although there was no money in their accounts. Our source revealed that because NPF accounts were slow to be updated, officers colluded with members of the public to defraud the fund between the time of withdrawal and the time the account will be updated.

The NPF legal counsel wants to take the matter to the courts but this will still depend on the NPF board taking it up with the police. However, the source said the board must allow the legal counsel to take the matter to courts because; the scam involves a large sum of members' funds.

The source said if the matter is not taken to the courts the officers will be likely to walk free after being dismissed as employers of NPF. The NPF legal counsel wants these people to face the consequences of abusing public money however it fears the board may decide otherwise.