Wednesday 22 October 2014

Malaysia Airlines MH370: Two arrested as €25k siphoned from passengers' bank accounts

Natasha Culzac

Published 15/08/2014 | 14:41

ZHUJI, CHINA - MARCH 10:  (CHINA OUT) Students from an international school in east China city Zhuji pray for the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by lighting candles on March 10, 2014 in Zhuji, China. Malaysia Airline flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and carrying 239 onboard was reported missing after the crew failed to check in as scheduled while flying over waters between Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.  (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Students from an international school in east China city Zhuji pray for the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by lighting candles on March 10, 2014 in Zhuji, China.

A bank officer and her husband have been arrested after thousands of pounds were allegedly withdrawn from the accounts of four passengers who had been travelling on the still-missing flight MH370.

The Malaysia Airlines aircraft, which disappeared on 8 March as it travelled from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, had reportedly been targeted after £20,059 (€25,007) was siphoned from accounts.

The cash was withdrawn in July from bank accounts understood to be with HSBC, and following an internal inquiry a police complaint was logged on 2 August.

It is unknown which bank the suspect works for.

People place candles on a banner reading, "Pray for MH370" after a special prayer for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 6, 2014. International search planes and ships are heading to an area where a Chinese ship twice heard what could be signals from MH370's black box locators, Australian search authorities said on Sunday. REUTERS/Samsul Said (MALAYSIA - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT RELIGION)
People place candles on a banner reading, "Pray for MH370" after a special prayer for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur April 6, 2014. International search planes and ships are heading to an area where a Chinese ship twice heard what could be signals from MH370's black box locators, Australian search authorities said on Sunday. REUTERS/Samsul Said
A man places a LED candle after a mass prayer for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, April 6, 2014. The head of the multinational search for the missing Malaysia airlines jet said that electronic pulses reportedly picked up by a Chinese ship are an encouraging sign but stresses they are not yet verified. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
A man places a LED candle after a mass prayer for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, April 6, 2014. The head of the multinational search for the missing Malaysia airlines jet said that electronic pulses reportedly picked up by a Chinese ship are an encouraging sign but stresses they are not yet verified. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
AT SEA - APRIL 04: Wing commander Rob Shearer captain of the RNZAF P3 Orion reads through his notes before reaching the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Southern Indian Ocean on April0 4, 2014, near Australia.  Up to fourteen planes and nine ships resumed in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia today. The airliner disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board and is suspected to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Nick Perry - Pool/Getty Images)
AT SEA - APRIL 04: Wing commander Rob Shearer captain of the RNZAF P3 Orion reads through his notes before reaching the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Southern Indian Ocean on April0 4, 2014, near Australia. Up to fourteen planes and nine ships resumed in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia today. The airliner disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board and is suspected to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.

Izany Abdul Ghani, City Commercial Crime Investigation Department Chief Ass Comm, confirmed that the woman had worked for the institution for 10 years and was arrested at her home in Ampang, in the Kuala Lumpur suburbs, at 4pm local time yesterday.

According to Malaysian newspaper The Star, he said: "Her husband, 33, was picked up by police at a workshop in Ampang where he had taken his car for repair. Police believe he is also involved in the siphoning of the money.

"Police are yet to get the recording from a closed-circuit camera in the bank. It will take a little time."

The couple are understood to have no previous criminal record and will be remanded until Sunday.

Officials are also looking for a Pakistani man, believed to have been involved somehow as he allegedly received some of the fraudulent money, but his relationship to the couple is still unknown.

“We are investigating the case as unauthorised access with intent to commit an offence,” Mr Abdul had told reporters earlier this week.

Mr Abdul also explained how the money was accessed, disclosing that funds from the bank accounts of three passengers had been transferred into a fourth.

An internet transfer of £6,640 (€8277) was then made in the beginning of July into a separate account “believed to be that of one of the suspects”, he said.

From 18 July, 'ATM withdrawals of RM5,000 (€1181) [were then taken out] daily until the account was empty'.

“We are now trying to trace the identity of the suspect who opened that account,” he added.

Under Malaysia’s Computer Crimes Act 1997, the offence can carry a prison term of 10 years or a fine of £28,500 (€35530).

HSBC has reiterated that it takes the safety and security of its customers’ information seriously, telling The Star that the matter was referred to the police and it is now the subject of a police investigation.

The bank has been contacted by for comment.

(Independent.co.uk)

Read More

Editors Choice

Also in World News