Victims of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were again victimised through fraudulent bank transactions on their accounts amounting to RM110,643 (approximately $37000AUD). The police have already identified the suspect.
The suspect was able to withdraw the money from the accounts of MH370 victims - two Chinese nationals Ju Kun and Tian Jun Wei, and two Malaysians, Hue Pui Heng and Tan Size Hian.
Police investigations found that the suspect had first acquired money from the bank accounts of the three victims and then transferred them to the bank account of the fourth victim. These were all conducted through internet banking.
"We believe this is an inside job involving a bank employee," Inspector- General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said in a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
The fraudulent bank transactions were identified on July 18 when a bank officer of an international bank, believed to be HSBC, discovered malicious transactions from the four victims' accounts.
In the course of the investigation for the first four bank accounts, a fifth suspicious account appears, Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said.
"The initial police investigation found that from the RM110,643, a sum of RM35,000 was transferred into the fifth account through Internet banking. The fifth bank account is registered in the name of an unknown individual," Md Isa said.
The police chief said that investigations are still on-going for the fifth account.
So far, there had been no indications that an international syndicate was behind the case, Dang Wangi district police chief, ACP Zainuddin Ahmad said.
"Everything is still under investigation and so far only the bank has lodged a police report on the case," he said.
HSBC media relations manager, Joanna Fargus, said that it was improper for the bank to air its side as police were still in the middle of investigation.
"We take the safety and security of customer information seriously. Because of our policy of confidentiality regarding customer account matters, it is inappropriate to comment," a statement obtained by The Malay Mail reads.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) is calling respective officials for a tougher review and monitoring of the accounts owned by both the passengers and crew on board MH370 and MH17.
Nufam president Ismail Nasaruddin said that the investigators should act fast to avoid the same case from happening again. There could be more passengers who are losing money while the case had not been solved. He said that Malaysia's central bank, Bank Negara, has access to the accounts that the victims had - hence, it should monitor the accounts while the families are still grieving.
"The families are still mourning. The last thing on their minds is the money their loved ones left behind. The authorities must assist the families in ensuring the safety of the bank accounts," Nasaruddin said.