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Man who stole from MH370 victim's bank account jailed for four years

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A man who stole from the bank account of an MH370 victim was sentenced on Wednesday (May 20) to four years in prison and three strokes of the cane.

Mechanic Basheer Ahmad Maula Sahul Hameed, 34, had used a debit card and an ATM card to withdraw a total of RM7,650 (S$2,800) from the account of a MH370 passenger about two months after the plane disappeared in March last year.

Basheer's wife, bank officer Nur Shila Kanan​, who also stole from MH370 victims, was not sentenced in Malaysian court on Wednesday as she was on sick leave with diarrhoea.

She had made illegal transfers, fraudulent debit cards and Internet banking applications to obtain a total of RM85,180 from the bank accounts of four victims, passengers Ju Kun, Tian Jun Wei and Hue Pui Peng and flight steward Tan Size Hiang.

The couple pleaded guilty to over a dozen charges of theft on April 28.

Despicable, disgusting

Judge Norsharidah Awang told Basheer: "Your crime is despicable, disgusting. You were willing to steal from the MH370 victims."

She added that his actions tarnished the image of the bank and of Malaysia, since two of the victims were Chinese nationals.

Basheer asked for leniency as he had pleaded guilty.

But deputy public prosecutor Fadhli Mahmud urged the court not to lessen the punishment.

"The accused’s actions brought further pain to the families who were already grieving over the loss of their loved ones," said the DPP.

HSBC has returned the cash to the account holder’s families.

Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 last year while flying from Malaysia to China. The plane has yet to be found.

Source: The Star Online