Stolen Passports: Malaysia Airlines Flight Had 2 Fake Passengers

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 08:09 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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At least two passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight used stolen passports to board, officials announced Monday.

The ill-fated plane, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, departed from Kuala Lumpur Saturday but lost contact with air traffic control and disappeared from radar screens about an hour into its trip to Beijing.

In what officials are calling an "unprecedented aviation mystery," the plane issued no distress call but evidence suggests it may have turned back on its route before completely disappearing from the radar-tracking monitors.

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Now, according to ABC News, Interpol has confirmed that two of the passengers used stolen passports to board the Boeing 777.

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia's Inspector General of Police, told reporters Sunday that one of the two suspects has been identified, but wouldn't elaborate.

"He is not a Malaysian, but I cannot divulge which country he is from yet," he said, according to ABC News.

The Associated Press reported that the stolen passports belong to Christian Kozel of Austria and Luigi Maraldi of Italy.

Rescue crews from Malaysia, Vietnam, and even the United States are actively searching for the missing jetliner. Vietnam's National Committee for Search and Rescue told ABC News that an orange object spotted in the water Monday, originally thought to be a life raft, ended up having no connection to the Malaysia Airlines flight.

A day earlier, a Vietnamese plane reported seeing what looked like one of the Malaysia aircraft's doors floating in the water, but search crews could not locate it, The Associated Press reported.

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