Interpol investigating stolen passports on missing Malaysian Airlines flight

Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble expressed frustration that countries still lack proper security measures to prevent misuse of stolen passports, while acknowledging it is premature to speculate whether the stolen passport users were terrorists.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |  March 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM
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LYON, France, March 10 (UPI) -- On Sunday, Interpol confirmed that two of the passports used by passengers aboard missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 had been stolen.

The passports -- one Austrian and the other Italian -- were stolen in Thailand in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The passports numbers had been logged into Interpol's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database, adding to the mystery of how they were used to board a plane in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble commented on the investigation, noting that "it is too soon to speculate any connection between these stolen passports and the missing plane," and that the focus remains on determining "what caused Malaysian Airlines flight 370 to go missing ..."

Nevertheless, Noble said Interpol is concerned that passengers aboard the plane were able to board using stolen passports that had been logged in its databases.

“Now, we have a real case where the world is speculating whether the stolen passport holders were terrorists," Noble explained, "while Interpol is asking why only a handful of countries worldwide are taking care to make sure that persons possessing stolen passports are not boarding international flights."

The passengers traveling under the stolen passports appear to have bought their tickets together from China Southern Airlines. The two passengers were booked on the same flight originating in Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and then onward to Amsterdam. The passenger flying under the stolen Italian passport was booked for a connecting flight to Copenhagen; the Austrian passport was booked on a connecting flight to Frankfurt.


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