Both passports used by missing Malaysian Airline passengers were stolen in Phuket

BureauUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2019, 03:10 PM IST
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London: The passports used by two passengers on board the missing Malaysian Airlines’ passenger jet that went missing last week had been reportedly stolen in Phuket.

The MH370 vanished mid-air, an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, enroute to Beijing and investigation teams have been doing a desperate search to locate the aircraft and coming up with a number of theories behind the missing plane.

According to the Guardian, the Italian national who was believed to be on board the plane said that his passport went missing last year from a motorbike rental shop in Phuket, where hundreds of passports are thought to be lost or stolen every year in a black-market racket.

Luigi Maraldi, 37, said that he was on holiday last summer when he left his passport at an undisclosed rental shop in Patong, only to discover when he later went to collect it that the shop owner had handed it over to a man who ‘looked similar’.

Italian honorary consul Francesco Pensato confirmed that Maraldi lost his passport in July last year, and that the number of the passport used to board the flight was the same as that of the stolen passport.

Another Austrian citizen, Christian Kozel, 30, listed on the missing flight’s manifest, also revealed that his passport was stolen two years ago during a flight from Phuket to Bangkok.

Investigators were now looking if other passengers were also traveling on false documents and not ruling out the possibility of terrorism and asylum as six Syrians hoping to seek refugee status in Sweden have been detained for over a month at Phuket’s international airport after attempting to fly to Stockholm via Beijing on Greek passports, the report said.

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