In a bizarre twist to the unsolved Flight 370 tragedy, Malaysian authorities arrested a couple last week for stealing nearly $30,000 from the bank accounts of four victims. The HSBC bank employee and her husband were detained on Thursday. No charges have been filed, although the arrest order has been extended to facilitate the investigation.
HSBC Malaysia discovered the discrepancies in July, after money was transferred from the bank accounts of four passengers. The accounts belonged to Ju Kun and Tian Jun Wei (Chinese passengers), and Malaysian Hue Pui Heng, and Tan Size Hian, a flight steward.
According to the Malaysian Police, 110,643 ringgit or roughly $30,000 were transferred to a fifth bank account owned by a certain Ali Farran, a Pakistani car mechanic. Farran, who reportedly used his passport to open a bank account, withdrew the money from a local branch.
Authorities launched a manhunt operation to track Farran, who is believed to be in the country. HSBC Malaysia is denouncing the wallop, assuring affected families that there will be no losses on the accounts.
"HSBC is deeply sorry for this incident and apologizes to the families of our customers for the distress this will cause and assures them there will be no losses on these accounts," HSBC told CNN.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mysteriously disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to China in March. The Boeing 777-200ER carried 227 passengers and 12 crew members. Earlier this month, Australia announced that the Dutch company, Fugro Survey, will be conducting the next phase of underwater search.
Two ships carrying advanced tools including deep-sea vehicles, multi-beam echo sounders, and side-scan sonars, will be deployed in the India Ocean, where the carrier reportedly crashed. In a desperate move to renew to its image, Malaysia Airlines is planning to restructure its business. That may include changing its name.