Malaysia Airlines MH370: Two arrested as £20,000 siphoned from passengers' bank accounts

An HSBC employee has been suspended after cash withdrawals were made in July, four months after the plane and its passengers went missing

A bank officer and her husband have been arrested after thousands of pounds were allegedly withdrawn from the accounts of four passengers who had been travelling on the still-missing flight MH370.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 with £20,059 (111,000 Malaysian Ringgit) siphoned from accounts.

The cash was withdrawn in July from bank accounts with HSBC, and following an internal inquiry a police complaint was logged on 2 August.

HSBC has confirmed to The Independent that an employee of the bank has been suspended pending police investigations and that there will be no financial loss to the accounts affected.

A spokesperson said: "HSBC discovered and reported to the police a potential fraud on the accounts of four passengers of MH370 by an employee of the bank."

It said it is "deeply sorry for this incident and apologises to the families of our customers for the distress this will cause, and assures them there will be no losses on these accounts.

"The employee has been suspended from duties and the incident is now under the investigation by the Police.

"HSBC takes the security of customer accounts very seriously and has taken the necessary action to ensure such an incident does not happen again."

Izany Abdul Ghani, City Commercial Crime Investigation Department Chief Ass Comm, confirmed that the woman had worked for the bank 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 was then made in the beginning of July into a separate account “believed to be that of one of the suspects”, he said.

READ MORE: Government to take full control of Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines shares soar
Malaysian Airlines steward detained over alleged sexual assault

From 18 July, “ATM withdrawals of RM5,000 (£948) [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 (150,000 Malaysian Ringgit).

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...

Recruitment Genius: PHP / Drupal / SaaS Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...

Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...

Ashdown Group: C# Developer - (C#, VB.Net, SQL, Git, TDD)

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea