Woman jailed 6 years over theft from MH370 passengers

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Sessions Court judge told a former bank officer who stole RM77,530 (S$28,795) from the accounts of four passengers of the missing MH370 flight that she was lucky to be spared from caning.

In sentencing Nur Shila Kanan, 34, to six years' jail, Judge Norsharidah Awang said she was only spared the rod because she was a woman.

"I hope you will repent and take the jail sentence as a lesson.

"It is very wrong for a bank officer to transfer and withdraw money owned by your clients. You took advantage of the trust given by them," she said.

Nur Shila admitted to 12 charges of making illegal transfers, fraudulent debit cards and Internet banking applications to obtain RM77,530 from the bank accounts.

The judge said public interest was important and hoped the sentence meted out to Nur Shila would deter others from committing such offences.

"I have no choice but to mete out a deterrent sentence because you have so many charges," she said after ruling that the sentences run concurrently from yesterday.

Nur Shila was jailed for between 10 months and six years on the 12 charges.

The money was reported missing from the accounts of two Chinese nationals, Ju Kun and Tian Jun Wei, and Malaysians Hue Pui Peng and flight steward Tan Size Hiang.

The offences were committed at Nur Shila's workplace at HSBC Bank in Lebuh Ampang here between May 14 and July 8 last year.

In mitigation, Nur Shila, who was not represented, said she was currently unemployed with two school-going children and one whom she was breastfeeding.

In urging the court to impose a deterrent sentence earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Fadhli Mahmud said the crime had caused anguish to the victims' families, tarnished the local banking institution and created mistrust of the banking system among the public.

Nur Shila's mechanic husband Basheer Ahmad Maula Sahul Hameed, also 34, was sentenced to four years' jail and caning on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to four counts of using a debit card and an ATM card to withdraw RM7,650 from Tian's bank account.