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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger
As an international search and rescue mission trolls the Gulf of Thailand in search of missing Malaysian Airline Flight 370, a vast multi-national investigation has begun looking into four potential suspects who may have acted to crash the plane.
Flight 370 with 239 passengers disappeared early Saturday morning, according to various news reports. The Malaysian government said that as many as four travelers on the plane may have used stolen passports, according to a Washington Post report.
Malaysia’s transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said Malaysian intelligence officials were also checking the identities of two other passengers, according to The Associated Press.
“All the four names are with me and have been given to our intelligence agencies,” Hishammuddin said. “We do not want to target only the four; we are investigating the whole passenger manifest. We are looking at all possibilities.”
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 lost contact with air-traffic control at 2:40 a.m. local time. The flight departed on schedule from Kuala Lampur headed to Bejing, according to a press statement issued by the airlines. Fourteen different nationalities and two infants are represented among the passengers.
Vietnam’s navy has spotted a floating object about 50 miles southwest of a Vietnamese island located off the country’s southwest coast in the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam National Search and Rescue Committee Spokesman Hung Nguyen told CNN.
Thailand’s Navy has shifted its focus toward the Adaman Sea to check if the flight altered its course after losing contact.
The airplane was over Vietnam when it lost contact, according to the Associated Press.
By the end of the day Sunday, more than 40 planes and more than two dozen ships from several countries were involved in the search, CNN reported.
Interpol confirmed Sunday that at least two passports — one Austrian and one Italian — recorded in its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database were used by passengers on board. Italy and Austria have said that none of their citizens were on board the plane.
“Whilst it is too soon to speculate about any connection between these stolen passports and the missing plane, it is clearly of great concern that any passenger was able to board an international flight using a stolen passport listed in INTERPOL’s databases,” said Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble in a statement.
Source: Washington Post
Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates www.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.com
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