Ex-Bar Council president sues HSBC to recover “fraudulently transacted” RM200k

IT seems that regulator Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and industry umbrella body, the Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM), must seriously find ways and means to put an end to the spate of online financial scams by fraudsters.

In fact, foreign bank HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd has found itself on the receiving end recently when a senior lawyer has filed a suit against the bank to recover RM200,000 which had been allegedly “fraudulently transacted by unknown third parties”.

According to The Malaysian Reserve, Manjeet Singh Dhillon, a practicing lawyer for five decades and a former president of the Bar Council, alleged that RM199,998 was withdrawn from his “premier account” in 12 transactions within a span of 20 minutes.

Manjeet Singh Dhillon

He is also seeking general damages arising from the “mental distress, hurt, anxiety and mental anguish as a result of the fraudulent transactions”.

The 80-year-old Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer has filed the statement of claim at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur on March 28.

In the statement of claim, Manjeet said he had opened an independent account on Jan 5, 2022 with the bank and its affiliate branches abroad, namely HSBC Bank Hyderabad (India), HSBC Bank Singapore and HSBC Bank UK.

On the same day, he had deposited RM200,000 into the account to ensure that he would continue to maintain a “premier account holder” status.

He said the “premium account” status would allow him to tap value-added services like easy access to transfers and exchanges of foreign currencies between the various accounts held in Malaysia and the affiliate branches abroad.

The account was distinct and separate from a joint account with his ex-wife at the same bank which they had held since 2005.

Manjeet said he had never conducted any transactions in the independent account.

However, towards end-September 2022, he said the bank had requested him to conduct transactions via the account to avoid it being left dormant. He then made two transactions on Oct 2 and Oct 3 – totalling RM227 – following the bank’s standard operating procedure.

At 2.28pm on Oct 14, 2022, Manjeet alleged that the bank had updated and increased the internet banking limit of his account without his authorisation.

On the same day – between 2.21pm and 2.40pm – four transactions of RM1 each to four unknown individuals took place. In the next 10 minutes, the same four individuals received RM30,000 each in the next batch of transactions, followed by four more transfers.

Manjeet further claimed that he only became aware of the withdrawals when he received text messages from the bank after the transactions were done.

At the time of writing, HSBC Malaysia has yet to revert to The Malaysian Reserve on the allegation of “fraudulent transaction” filed by Manjeet. – April 5, 2023


Main pic credit: The Sun

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