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Bank ordered to refund RM24 million: 14 suspects remanded over fraudulent withdrawals
Published on: Saturday, June 22, 2024
By: Bernama
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Bank ordered to refund RM24 million: 14 suspects remanded over fraudulent withdrawals
On June 19, Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department Director Datuk Seri Mohamed Ramli Yoosuf said that 13 individuals, including four bank employees, were detained to assist in the investigation.
Kuala Lumpur: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has requested prompt refunds to all affected account holders following the fraudulent withdrawals of fixed deposits amounting to RM24.2 million at a Sabah bank.

The central bank said it takes a serious view of the recent reports that large-scale unauthorised cash withdrawals arising from the collusion of financial institution employees with external parties.

“The integrity of individuals working in financial institutions is paramount,” BNM said Friday in response to queries on the recent unauthorised withdrawals case. 

To date, police have detained 14 individuals, including four bank employees, to assist in the investigation of the fraudulent withdrawals from several fixed deposit accounts.

Police received four reports from account holders and bank staff in early June in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, after the victims noticed suspicious cash withdrawals from their fixed deposit accounts in Kota Kinabalu.

BNM said it requires all financial institutions to put in place strong controls to safeguard and protect customers’ funds and the integrity of the financial system. 

“This includes, for instance, the requirement for financial institutions to enforce a strong code of ethics.

“Financial institutions must also conduct thorough checks and screening of potential employees before hiring them,” it said.

The central bank said individuals with records of fraud and dishonesty are banned from working in any licensed financial institution.

It also reminded that any institution involved in such investigations must give its full cooperation to the relevant law enforcement authorities, and take strong remedial or disciplinary actions based on the findings of internal investigations.

“BNM advises consumers to immediately report any unauthorised or suspicious transactions to their banks or the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) at 997 upon discovery, as well as to the police,” it added.

A woman has been remanded for three days starting Friday to assist in the investigations.

The woman, in her 40s, is the latest suspect to be remanded to assist in the investigation.

The remand order was issued by Magistrate Stephanie Sherron Abbie at the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate’s Court Friday following a police application.

The local woman is believed to have a close relationship with a bank employee.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department Director Datuk Seri Mohamed Ramli Yoosuf said all suspects arrested received commissions of RM100,000 to RM240,000 according to their roles in the syndicate that was active since 2023.

“We also believe that the mastermind is an individual believed to be an expert in falsifying personal documents like identity cards and fingerprints for the withdrawal process,” he said.

Investigations found that the mastermind was also involved in the planning and made withdrawals of over RM551,000 from another bank previously early this year, and that the case was being investigated as well.

“Seizures so far include nine vehicles of various makes and models, RM1.93 million in cash, mobile phones, ATM, debit and credit cards, as well as jewellery and documents believed to be related to the criminal activities,” he said, adding the case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

Media outlets had reported that the police arrested a man, in his 40s, believed to be the mastermind behind the fraudulent withdrawals, in Sabah on June 16, following the arrest of a female bank employee in Kota Kinabalu on June 13.

The same court on Friday also allowed the remand order for 10 other suspects in the case, aged 22 to 53, to be extended for three days starting Thursday, after they were remanded last Monday (June 17).

On Thursday, the same court also allowed the remand of a suspect, a businessman with the title Datuk, to be extended for three days starting yesterday after he was remanded last Monday. 

On Wednesday, Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department Director Datuk Seri Mohamed Ramli Yoosuf said that 13 individuals, including four bank employees, were detained to assist in the investigation.

He said investigations showed the involvement of syndicate members from inside and outside the bank who conspired to withdraw the money, as it could only be done through internal collusion within the bank.

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