The tickets used by passengers carrying stolen passports on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were purchased by an Iranian man, according to a report in the Financial Times.
At least two people of the 239 on board the plane were traveling on stolen passports for travel from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam via Beijing. That plane disappeared somewhere over the South China Sea on Saturday, March 8.
According to Thai police officials, an Iranian middleman by the name of Kazem Ali booked the tickets through a travel agency in Pattaya, Thailand, for two people who he said wanted to return home to Europe.
The Thai travel agent who sold the tickets to Ali, Benjaporn Krutnait, said she has known Ali for three years during which time he has used her travel agency to make travel arrangements for himself or others.
Krutnait said that a friend of Ali’s paid cash for the tickets. In addition, she mentioned that the reservations were originally made for March 1, but those expired when Ali did not confirm them. Krutnait attempted to contact Ali through the phone number she had for him, but, according to an article in the British newspaper The Mirror, the phone was dead.
As yet there is no evidence showing that Ali knew the two men were using stolen passports.
There were several reports over the weekend that pieces of the missing airliner had been discovered in various locations, but all have since been investigated and determined to be false.
Closed circuit television pictures, as well as biometric details have been provided by Malaysian officials to U.S. personnel involved in the investigation, according to the Financial Times.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com
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