‘Malaysian stole A$1mil from Aussie banks’


PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian man is in custody in Australia, accused of stealing almost A$1 million through multiple cash withdrawals from branches of the Bank of Melbourne.

The man, Chen Seng Yee, 22, was brought before the magistrate on Thursday and ordered to be remanded.

Police believe he used a fake passport on a visit to a South Melbourne branch to transfer A$975,000 from the account of a customer, a wealthy Chinese national, to a series of other accounts.

He then visited banks around Melbourne in August and September, making cash withdrawals of varying amounts that came up to nearly A$685,000, according to The Age newspaper.

The report said it was unclear how many withdrawals he made, but could have been as many as a dozen.

Chen was arrested in raids at two city centre apartments on Thursday. No cash was found, and the Bank of Melbourne has not said whether it has recovered the money.

During the investigation, detectives uncovered another fraud of A$120,000 using similar methods. No details were available.

Earlier this year, a Malaysian woman, Christine Jia Xin Lee, 21, was arrested after a bank error left her with an overdraft of A$4.6 million which she spent on designer handbags, clothing, jewellery, sunglasses and scarves.