Malaysian student in Australia thought RM13.8mil given by parents


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 22 May 2016

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian student in Australia who lived a life of luxury due to a mistaken bank overdraft amounting to A$4.6mil (RM13.8mil) was under the impression that the money came from her “wealthy parents”.  

Christine Jia Xin Lee’s (pic) version of events was revealed in an affidavit obtained by Fairfax Media, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Sunday.  

Lee, 21, whose excessive lifestyle came to an end when she was arrested two week ago while attempting to travel to Malaysia on an emergency-issued passport, said in the affidavit that she believed her wealthy parents in Malaysia were banking money into her account.  

“I bought clothes, shoes, lots of handbags….they are in my unit at Rhodes,” she was recorded as saying in a phone call with Westpac bank’s senior manager of group investigations, Matt Tregoning.  

In the details of the call, which were contained in the affidavit, Lee also admitted to only having A$4000 (RM11,770) left, and that her parents were unhappy with her.  

“My mother is coming over to visit me in June and will give the bank a cheque.  

"I have (told my parents about it) and they are not very happy with me,” she said.  

Lee, a chemical engineering student, was charged on May 5 with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of a crime.  

Further documents sighted by Sydney Morning Herald also found that Lee received regular deposits from her parents after opening her account, while still studying at the University of Sydney.  

Lee has been living in Australia for five years and spent that time indulging in luxury handbags and shoes despite Westpac’s and the police’s attempts to contact her.  

The bank’s product risk unit was first alerted to the oversight when Lee made 14 transactions amounting to A$1.15mil (RM3.38mil) to her PayPal account on the same day in April 2014.  

The bank subsequently froze her account and contacted her. Asked why she thought she had access to that much money, she said: “My parents give me lots of money.”

 

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