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A bank officer and her husband have been arrested after thousands of pounds were allegedly withdrawn from the accounts of four passengers who had been travelling on the still-missing flight MH370.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The cash was withdrawn in July from bank accounts with HSBC, and following an internal inquiry a police complaint was logged on 2 August.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).
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A bookkeeper/receptionist posit...
£28500 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers unique corp...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leader in the design...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has 30 years of ex...