Two people have been charged by Malaysian police for the theft of about $35,000 (110,600 Malaysian ringgits) from the banks accounts of four passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Nur Shila Kanan, a HSBC employee, is facing 12 charges of theft for allegedly transferring money between the missing passengers' accounts, while her husband, Basheer Ahmad Maula Sahul Hameed, a 33-year-old mechanic, faces four counts of theft for allegedly pulling out money using the debit cards and credit cards of one of the missing passengers, a CNN report citing Malaysian state news agency Bernama said.
Police are also looking for Ali Faran Khan, a Pakistani man to whose account the robbed funds were allegedly transferred. Kanan, 33, and her husband were arrested after HSBC officials in Malaysia discovered the fraud while conducting an internal audit and alerted authorities on Aug. 2. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty and were released on bail after surrendering their passports. Their next hearing is reported to take place on Aug. 25.
Between May 14 and July 8, Kanan allegedly transferred $12,600 (40,000 Malaysian Ringgits) from the account of a Hue Pui Heng, a Malaysian onboard the ill fated MH370, to the account of a Chinese passenger Tian Jun Wei. Shula then allegedly used fake documents to apply for a new debit card in Tian’s name while also making applications to transfer money from the savings accounts of Chinese passenger Ju Kun and a Malaysian flight attendant named Tan Size Hiang.
The crime reportedly began two months after Flight MH370 disappeared while on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Officials believe the Boeing 777-200ER, which had 227 passengers and 12 crew onboard, crashed into a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean while flying on auto pilot. Search missions for the missing plane have turned up empty-handed so far and fresh attempts are scheduled to begin in September.
Fugro Survey, a Dutch company, has been appointed by Australia to locate the plane in a 23,000-square-mile area with depths of up to 7,000 meters, with the help of two ships equipped with towed deep-water vehicles, a side-scan sonar, multibeam echo sounders and video cameras.