Malaysia has issued an arrest warrant for a couple allegedly involved in stealing money from the bank accounts of four people on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, local media reports said Monday. The warrant was issued after the couple failed to appear in court for their trial over multiple charges of theft.
HSBC Bank officer Nur Shila Kanan and her husband Basheer Ahmad Maula Sahul Hameed were accused of making illegal transfers and withdrawals from the bank accounts of three passengers -- two Chinese nationals, Ju Kun and Tian Jun Wei, and Malaysian Hue Pui Peng -- and one crew member, Tan Size Hiang, amounting to over $31,000. The thefts were carried out between May 14 and July 8, 2014, The Straits Times reported. The plane disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Nur Shila faces four charges of transferring money out of the accounts, four charges of using fake documents, and two charges each of cheating and stealing money, while her husband faces four charges of using a debit card of a passenger to withdraw money through four separate transactions. He reportedly committed the offenses at the bank's ATM at Ampang Point in Ampang, a town near Kuala Lumpur, between May 15 and June 29 last year.
The search for flight MH370 has dragged on for over 10 months without any concrete clues as to the plane's whereabouts, making it the most expensive operation in aviation history. On Monday, officials announced that a fourth vessel with specialized underwater equipment would join the search for the Boeing 777 in the southern Indian Ocean.
"Fugro Supporter has been equipped with a Kongsberg HUGIN 4500 autonomous underwater vehicle," the statement said, according to The Associated Press. "The AUV will be used to scan those portions of the search area that cannot be searched effectively by the equipment on other vessels."
The new vessel, which is jointly funded by the Malaysian and Australian governments, is expected to join the search in late January, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, reportedly said. Three vessels -- "Go Phoenix", "Fugro Discovery" and "Fugro Equator" -- are currently involved in the search operation.
Investigators believe that the final resting place of the aircraft could be along the seventh arc, which has been described as “a thin but long line that includes all the possible points where the last known communication between the aircraft and the communication satellite could have taken place.”
The latest update on the search showed that over 5,400 square miles of the seafloor have been scoured since the search operation resumed in October. Authorities said that the current search phase may be completed by May 2015, depending on factors like weather conditions and the operability of search vessels.