Money in four bank accounts belonging to victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been mysteriously withdrawn, Malaysian law enforcement officials said recently. Police believe they have identified some of the suspects.
The transactions, which siphoned off 111,000 Malaysian ringgit or nearly $35,000, are believed to have occurred sometime in July at an unnamed bank in Kuala Lumpur.
Assistant Commissioner of the city’s commercial crime unit, Izany Abdul Ghany, told the New Straits Times that bank officials uncovered the transactions during an internal audit.
“Prior to the incident, the bank conducted an internal investigation before lodging a police report on August 2,” Ghany said.
City police Senior Deputy Commissioner Tajuddin Md Isa told reporters Thursday that police could be getting close to making arrests in the case.
“We have identified the suspects involved and are gathering more evidence before we take further action,” he said, according to The Straits Times. “Do not speculate on this matter and allow us to conduct a thorough investigation.”
Ghany told reporters the same day that he believes the suspects transferred money from three accounts to the account of a fourth passenger.
“The suspects then made an internet transfer … to another account, believed to be that of one of the suspects,” he said.
The suspects then allegedly made daily ATM withdrawals from that account until it was empty.
“We are now trying to trace the identity of the suspect who opened that account,” Ghany said.
Flight MH370 disappeared March 8 with 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard. The plane was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The last radar contact with the Boeing 777 occurred somewhere over the southern Indian Ocean.
Searches for wreckage of the plane have been suspended in the area for sometime, but International Business Times reports they will begin again in September.
The Australian Transportation Safety Board announced Aug. 6 that it had contracted with a Dutch company called Fugro to conduct additional searches. A statement released by Fugro officials said the company would deploy “two specialist vessels, equipment and expertise” while searching the ocean’s floor for wreckage. The statement said the search could take up to 12 months to complete.
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