Couple who stole money from MH370 passengers' banks accounts to be sentenced Friday

KUALA LUMPUR - The couple who stole from the bank accounts of four passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 will be sentenced on Friday.

Sessions Court Judge Norsharidah Awang convicted bank officer Nur Shila Kanan and her mechanic husband Basheer Ahmad Maula Sahul Hameed, both 34, after they admitted to their crimes.

When the couple suddenly attempted to change their plea to not guilty, the judge denied them.

Judge Norsharidah said it was unacceptable, as the accused had already stated they understood and admitted to the charge.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Fadhli Mahmud urged the court to also consider that Nur Shila and Basheer had repeatedly stalled the case and changed their lawyers.

The duo had changed their lawyers five times since they were first brought to court last year.

Judge Norsharidah fixed May 15 to sentence the husband and wife.

On Aug 14, 2014, the couple claimed trial to making illegal transfers and withdrawals, amounting to RM85,180 in total, from the accounts of four MH370 passengers.

Nur Shila had 12 principal charges against her in relation to transferring money from the HSBC Bank accounts to other bank accounts, theft, getting approval for a debit card and making a new Internet banking application with intent to cheat, and using forged documents at the HSBC branch in Lebuh Ampang from May 14 to July 14.

Basheer faced four charges, including one for using a debit card and an ATM card to withdraw cash from the bank accounts. 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.