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Couple go to court over theft from MH370 victims

A HSBC bank officer and her husband have been given a month to appoint their counsel, after they were charged with transferring and withdrawing RM85,180 from the accounts of four people who were on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

KUALA LUMPUR: A HSBC bank officer and her husband who were charged with transferring and withdrawing money totalling RM85,180 (S$33,600) from the accounts of four victims of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been given a month to appoint their counsel.

The grace period was given by Sessions Court Judge Norsharidah Awang following an application from the couple, Nur Shila Kanan, 33, and Basheer Ahmad Maula Sahul Hameed, 33, when the case came up for mention on Monday (Aug 25). She then set Sep 25 for mention.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Fadhli Mahmud informed the court that the prosecution had not handed over any documents to the accused or lawyers representing them.

Nur Shila and Basheer Ahmad Maula pleaded not guilty on Aug 20 to the charges before Sessions Court Judge Mat Ghani Abdullah. Nur Shila was charged with 12 counts of the alleged offences, while her husband, a mechanic, was charged with four.

The charges against Nur Shila were for allegedly transferring money, totalling RM40,000, from an account belonging to Malaysian citizen Hue Pui Heng, into the account of a Chinese citizen Tian Jun Wei, and another RM35,000 into an account belonging to Ali Faran Khan. The charges carry a maximum fine of RM150,000 or jail term of 10 years, or both, if convicted.

Nur Shila also faced three counts of using fake documents to apply for a new debit card in Tian's name and to make two applications for local fund transfer from two saving accounts belonging to Chinese national Ju Kun and a flight attendant, Tan Size Hiang.

She was also charged with using a false Internet Banking Service Request Form and using the name of Judy Margaret Lai to obtain a security device to activate the Internet banking service. The charges carry a maximum jail term of two years, or fine, or both, if convicted.

Nur Shila was also charged with two counts of cheating her supervisors, Nor Aini Derus Mat Rose and Mohd Fazli Mokhtar, by making them believe that the applications for the new debit card were made by Tian and Judy personally. The offence carries a maximum jail term of five years, or fine, or both, upon conviction.

She was also charged with two counts of stealing RM2,530 from the accounts belonging to Ju Kun and Tan, an offence that carries a maximum imprisonment of seven years, or fine, or both, if convicted.

Nur Shila also pleaded not guilty to four alternative charges of stealing money belonging to the four victims. The offences were allegedly committed at her workplace at HSBC Bank in Kuala Lumpur between May 14 and Jul 8.

Meanwhile, Basheer Ahmad Maula was charged with four counts of using Tian's debit and ATM cards to withdraw a total of RM7,650 in four transactions. He faced a maximum fine of RM150,000 or jail term of 10 years, or both, if convicted. He also faced four alternative charges for stealing money from the same account. The offences were allegedly committed at a HSBC ATM in Kuala Lumpur’s Ampang district, between 10.02am Malaysian (Singapore) time on May 15 and 11.28pm on Jun 29.  

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