Saturday 3 December 2016

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

Natasha Culzac

Published 15/08/2014 | 14:41

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A bank officer and her husband have been arrested after thousands of pounds were allegedly withdrawn from the accounts of four passengers who had been travelling on the still-missing flight MH370.

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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The cash was withdrawn in July from bank accounts understood to be with HSBC, and following an internal inquiry a police complaint was logged on 2 August.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,
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)
People including Chinese relatives (bottom R) of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 sit during a special prayer session 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
FILE - Retired Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshall Angus Houston speaks to the media during a press conference about the on-going search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in Perth, Australia, in this April 4, 2014 file photo. Houston told a news conference Sunday April 6, 2014 the two electronic pulsing signals that a Chinese ship reported detecting on Friday and Saturday had not been verified as connected to the missing jet. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)
A woman takes part in 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 (
In this image taken from video, a member of a Chinese search team uses an instrument to detect electronic pulses while searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, on board the patrol vessel Haixun 01, in the search area in the southern Indian Ocean, Saturday, April 5, 2014. China's official Xinhua News Agency reported late Saturday that the patrol vessel Haixun 01 had detected a "pulse signal" at 37.5 kilohertz (cycles per second) - the same frequency emitted by flight data recorders aboard the missing plane - in the search area in the southern Indian Ocean. But retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston stressed the two electronic pulses that the Chinese ship reported detecting on Friday and Saturday had not been verified as connected to the missing jet. (AP Photo/CCTV via AP Video)
Chinese relatives (bottom) of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 take part in a special prayer 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 woman holds an LED candle as she offers prayers during a mass prayer for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, 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 Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s aircraft taxies at Perth international airport en route to rejoin the search operation for wreckage and debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in Perth, near the coast of western Australia, Sunday, April 6, 2014. The chief coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Center retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said reports that a Chinese ship had detected electronic pulse signals in the Indian Ocean related to the missing plane can not be verified at this stage. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Chinese relatives of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 hold LED candles as they offer prayers during a mass prayer for the missing plane, 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. The writing on the t-shirts reads "Praying that MH370 returns home safely." (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Stephanie Went keeps watch for any sign of debris aboard the Australian Navy ship HMAS Toowoomba as it continues the search in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, in this picture released by the Australian Defence Force April 4, 2014. Malaysia's prime minister visited the Australian search base for missing Flight MH370 on Thursday as a nuclear-powered submarine joined the near-four week hunt that has so far failed to find any sign of the missing airliner and the 239 people on board. REUTERS/Australian Defence Force/Handout via Reuters (MID-SEA - Tags: MILITARY TRANSPORT MARITIME)
AT SEA - APRIL 04: SGT Adam Coats gets some rest onboard a RNZAF P3 Orion after they completed almost four hours of search operations 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: SGT Sean Donaldson (L) and SGT Adam Coats prepare to open the aircraft door to deploy a sonar buoy onboard a RNZAF P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of 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: An observer looks out a window onboard a RNZAF P3 Orion during the search operations 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: An observer watches as a smoke flare is deployed to mark an unidentified object spotted from a RNZAF P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of 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: SGT Sean Donaldson prepares to deploy a smoke marker onboard a RNZAF P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of 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: An unidentified object is photographed from a monitor onboard a RNZAF P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of 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 (L) and SGT Sean Donaldson look out the cockpit windows during search operations 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: SGT Sean Donaldson prepares to deploy a smoke marker onboard a RNZAF P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of 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: Flight LT Stephen Graham monitors a TAC station onboard a RNZAF P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of 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)

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