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2 on missing Malaysia jet used stolen EU passports



MILAN (AP) -- Foreign ministry officials in Rome and Vienna confirmed Saturday that names of two nationals listed on the manifest of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight match passports reported stolen in Thailand.

Neither European was on the plane, which disappeared Saturday less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, officials said. The Italian was traveling in Thailand and the Austrian was located in his native country.

The father of the Italian man told The Associated Press that his son's passport had been stolen about a year and a half ago while traveling in Thailand.

`'He deposited it with rental car agency, and when he returned the car it was gone," Walter Maraldi said by telephone from his home in the northern Emilia-Romagna region.

The Italian man had a new passport issued in Thailand to continue his trip, his father said. The Italian Interior Ministry issued a statement that the man also reported it stolen on Aug. 1, 2013, after his return to Italy, and that the stolen document had been entered into the Interpol database.

Walter Maraldi said authorities could not tell him whether the stolen passport or a counterfeit copy was used by a passenger to board the aircraft.

The father said his son Luigi Maraldi, 37, called his parents from Thailand to tell them he was fine after hearing news reports that an Italian with his name was on board the missing airplane.

Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Weiss confirmed that a name listed on the manifest matches an Austrian passport reported stolen two years ago in Thailand. Weiss would not confirm the Austrian traveler's identity.

"We have no information on who might have stolen the passport," Weiss said.

----

AP reporter Paolo Santalucia in Rome and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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GEARY March 09 2014 at 8:39 AM

I love thailand great place great people , no worse than new york or la, we have some bad people no matter where you go. you just have to watch yourself here and there

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Brian Workman March 09 2014 at 10:30 AM

The two people who used the stolen passports, may have been terrorist in disguise, and that they may have put stowaway luggage with explosives on the plane!?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
3 replies
bjredmond64 March 09 2014 at 10:57 AM

it does seem if it blew up, there would have been something that showed. perhaps it landed somewhere it shouldnt or perhaps it crashed. didnt have to be terrorist related, although the passports suggest otherwise...

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
FRED bjredmond64 March 09 2014 at 11:55 AM

What a surprise a terrorist group hasn't claim responsibility.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
nouras6 March 09 2014 at 12:21 AM

Don't even think of stealing passports.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
smo7707191 March 09 2014 at 12:05 AM

It sounds odd to me .The plane was inspected a few days ago and everything was 100%
There is something suspicious about the whole thing passports and so fourth .People suppose to be on the plane ,but not on the plane .My heart goes out to all the people on that plane and prayers
sad tragedy .

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Frank March 08 2014 at 11:56 PM

If the passports were already reported stolen and in the database, how did the people get on the plane? This sounds like a MAJOR security failure.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
sweet cherri March 08 2014 at 11:41 PM

see karma......if you steal someones PASSPORT stuff........now we will never know who that was......

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Richard March 08 2014 at 10:34 PM

So much for airline security in Asia.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
Christopher Richard March 09 2014 at 4:00 AM

Several years ago, I was returning to the U.S. from Manila, Philippines. Security thoroughly searched everybody's carry-on bags prior to boarding. That was the most thorough search I have ever been through while traveling on an airline. Kudos to security in Manila, Philippines!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
HELEN March 08 2014 at 10:17 PM

Terrorism!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
CreativeKimberly HELEN March 09 2014 at 12:26 AM

I agree.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Thor March 08 2014 at 9:58 PM

Yup, very unusual to disappear like that with out leaving a message. Wonder what the odds are that at least 2 "passengers" had hidden idenities. The intrigue and final verdict of this episode should be interesting. Would almost seem that there is a potential for acts of anonymous terrorism to enter upon the world scene.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
1 reply
Elizabeth Thor March 09 2014 at 8:32 AM

With about 13 million passports reported lost or stolen, the odds are probably fairly high.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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