SEREMBAN: The Coroner’s Court here today was told that an email account used to send a purported ransom demand to Nora Anne Quoirin’s family on Aug 7, 2019, had been deactivated.
DSP Hazizi Abd Samad, 42, from the Cyber Crime Investigation Division of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department, Bukit Aman, said the account status was obtained when a check was conducted on Sept 14, soon after the email address was obtained on Sept 11.
“In this investigation (of the email account) there are two main parts, the first is the content and the second is the header. As my job is to analyse this email, we looked at the header because it contains information on how an email is sent, as well as browser information and IP (Internet Protocol) address.
“On Sept 14, I checked the email, ‘[email protected]’, through the email checker website and it showed that the email account had been deactivated.”
The inquest proceedings before Coroner Maimoonah Aid to determine the cause of death of the French-Irish girl Nora Anne, entered the 13th day today.
Hazizi said based on his 14 years of experience in the cybercrime division, such action showed an element of fraud and that it was run by scammers. The investigation did not find the sender’s real IP address.
He said as the email was registered under Microsoft Corporation, only Microsoft knew the real address of the email and when it was created.
“In the investigation, the IP address was registered under the Hotmail webmail service,” he said.
Asked by deputy public prosecutor Nuralis Mat what conclusions could be drawn about the email, Hazizi said: “In my opinion, only Microsoft knows the IP address of the email.”
Answering a question from lawyer S Sakthyvell, who represented Nora Anne’s family, whether the police could get the information from Microsoft, Hazizi said it could be done by using the mutual legal assistance scheme with the US.
Sakthyvell: Does that mean only Microsoft knows the details of who owns this email?
Hazizi: Microsoft keeps all records from the beginning of the email account’s creation, delivery transactions and when it is deactivated. As for the owner, in my opinion, as it is a free webmail service, anyone can register with any identity.
Asked by Sakthyvell whether an email could be created in this country but by using an IP address from the UK or US, Hazizi said it could be done.
Earlier, two witnesses, member of the public M Magendran, 39, and Bukit Aman cryptocurrency crimes investigating officer Inspector Nur Adli Md Saari, 36, were called to testify.
Nur Adli informed the court that the e-wallet number listed in the email that purportedly demanded ransom amounting to two Bitcoins, was detected as that of a scammer.
He said police had deposited RM100 on Aug 13 last year, and a check on the e-wallet found that it was active on Aug 12 and 13 with the suspect transferring the said deposit into various other accounts to avoid detection.
“The e-wallet used is in line with the known tactics used by scammers,” he said.
Nora Anne went missing on Aug 4 last year, a day after she and her parents arrived in Malaysia for a two-week holiday at a resort in Pantai, here.
Her body was found on Aug 13 near a stream in a hilly area, about 2.5km from the rainforest resort, following a massive search.
The post-mortem report stated that there was no criminal element in the death of Nora Anne and it was established that she died due to gastrointestinal bleeding from hunger and stress over a prolonged period.
The inquest continues tomorrow.