Friday, 15 August 2014

STEALING FROM THE DEAD

Money stolen from accounts of MH370 passengers
NZ Herald, Friday Aug 15, 2014
More than $41,000 has been stolen from four passengers aboard the doomed MH370 flight.
Five months after the Malaysia Airlines flight went missing, mysterious withdrawals totaling 111,000 RM (NZ $41,108) have been recorded, reports claim.
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777
A bank in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, reported the apparent discrepancies in their accounts on July 18, before lodging a police complaint, Assistant Commissioner to the crime investigation department Izany Abdul Ghany revealed.
It comes as the search team prepares to conduct a deep-water search across 60,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean.
According to reports, the transactions were made on July 18 when money from the accounts of three passengers was transferred to the account of a fourth passenger before it was removed.
"We are investigating the case as unauthorised access with intent to commit an offence," Izany said, according to the Mirror.
"We are getting CCTV footage from the bank to identify the suspects involved."
A source told the New Straits Times: "We believe the suspect withdrew the money through the fourth victim's account via several automated teller machines (ATMs) in the Klang Valley."

Efforts to locate Flight MH370 have spanned more than five months, making it one of the most expensive searches for a plane in aviation history . . . .
More in the nzherald

Peter’s Piece

Already posts are appearing on Facebook claiming this revelation is prove that the missing aircraft landed safely somewhere and terrorists are withdrawing money from passenger bank accounts.

It’s the stuff that movies and novels are made of, but it only proves that money may have been removed from accounts.

For the aircraft to land in one piece and be hidden from view for five months would require at the minimum a mile long runway and a very large building to hide it, and more large buildings to conceal the passengers and crew. A small army would be required to run the operation and keep it secret from the world. And for what purpose? All that to steal $111,000? I don’t think so. However, it would indeed make a great movie.
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For many people the clincher will be the involvement of the fourth passenger, because to them it is proof that the fourth passenger is alive. Not so. Work the plot backwards.

Defrauding the bank accounts of dead or missing people is not new. It happens all the time. A person committing such a crime does not want to be discovered, so using a false name or stolen identity is a common tactic. And there is no better identity to use than that of someone who is dead or missing. They can’t complain and they can’t be interviewed by investigators. All four passengers have been victims twice; they have died and their estates have been defrauded.

I used this dead identity ruse several times in my novel A Twist of Fate. It works beautifully.
I believe that both the aircraft disappearance and the bank account thefts will be solved in time, but I don’t believe that both were part of the same master plan. One was an as yet unexplained accident and the other was simply a criminal opportunity that arose from it, just like a looter in a ruined shop or house after an earthquake.