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Hunt for duo who siphoned MH370's victims' money intensifies

The Star/ANN | Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

PETALING JAYA - Bukit Aman has stepped up surveillance at all the country's major exit points in the hunt for two more suspects over the siphoning of money from MH370 passengers.

Federal Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Mortadza Nazarene said it was working with Interpol and the Immigration Department to track down a Pakistani, identified as Ali Farran, in his 30s, and a Malaysian known as Raj.

Police have arrested an HSBC bank officer and her husband, both 33, in Ampang on Thursday over the case.

"Bukit Aman has informed enforcement officers at all airports, ports and bus terminals to keep an eye out for Ali Farran.

"We believe that the Pakistani is still in Malaysia," he said.

"So, we are widening our net to apprehend him.

"However, we are doubting the identity of the second suspect, Raj, because the bank officer might have just made up the name to cover their tracks, but we are still investigating," he said here yesterday.

The culprits, added Comm Mortadza, could have spent the RM110,643 (S$43,623.22) siphoned from the bank accounts.

In Kuala Lumpur, city police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Tajudin Md Isa said the couple would be charged within the week.

They were believed to have taken the money from the accounts of two Chinese nationals, Ju Kun and Tian Jun Wei, and two Malaysians, Hue Pui Heng and MH370 steward Tan Size Hian.

"Their remand will end on Wednesday and their case will probably be forwarded to the Deputy Public Prosecutor in the next two or three days," he told reporters after witnessing the handing over of duties by Dang Wangi OCPD Senior Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad to his successor Asst Comm Rasdi Ramli yesterday.

Investigations revealed that the funds were initially transferred via online banking from three passengers' bank accounts into that of a fourth passenger.

A sum of RM35,000 was then transferred via online banking into the account of Ali Farran, who then withdrew the cash and fled.

The couple then withdrew the remaining RM75,000 using a replacement ATM card over the next few weeks.

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