Italian Luigi Maraldi, 37 was on the flight MH370 and was included on the passenger manifest No. 101 on board the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft.
At least his name is (or was).
Following a thorough investigation, authorities are investigating the possibility of foul play following a report that an Italian national listed on MH370’s flight manifest never boarded the plane. See full list of passenger manifest here.
According to foreign news reports, passenger Maraldi was listed on the flight manifest released by Malaysia Airlines earlier, but Italian newspaper Corriere Della Serra reported that he was not on the plane.
Maraldi reportedly lost his passport in Thailand last August 2013.
Corriere Della Serra reported that Maraldi’s parent were contacted by MAS but said that their son is not aboard the plane which went missing on the early morning of March 8.
CNN also reported that Austrian officials confirm that the sole Austrian listed No. 63 on the manifest, Christian Kozel, did not board the plane and had his passport stolen. Read related story on the missing jet here.
“An Austrian citizen listed as a passenger on missing Malaysia Airlines plane was not aboard, and his passport had been stolen two years ago, official tells CNN,” the news brief on CNN’s website reads.
Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, however, cautioned against further speculation.
“These are reports which we need to form. As far as we are concerned, it is just a report. We are working foreign embassies to ensure we can confirm the report… Speculations have begun since this morning and every speculation has been squashed,” he said.
Asked if this could indicate possible hijacking, he said that MAS and the authorities are “not ruling anything out”.
Air traffic controllers lost radar contact with the Boeing 777-200 at the border of the Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace about 200 nautical miles off the coast of Kota Baru en route Beijing.
239 passenger and crew were on board MH370, including 152 Chinese nationals and 38 Malaysians.
The flight which went missing while flying above the South China Sea is also a code share flight with China Southern Airline.
Source: Online/International news reports.
UPDATE 03/09/2014/2:45 PM: Malaysia Airlines said it was “fearing the worst” on Sunday for a plane carrying 239 people that went missing more than 24 hours ago, as the government said it was investigating four passengers who may have held false identity documents
(Reuters) – There were no reports of bad weather and no sign of why Flight MH370 would have vanished from radar screens off the coast of Vietnam about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing early on Saturday morning.
European officials said it appeared two people on board were using stolen passports and Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said authorities were also checking the identities of two other passengers.
“All the four names are with me,” said Hishamuddin, who is also defense minister. “I have indicated to our intelligence agencies and I have also spoken to international intelligence agencies for assistance.”
He said help was also being sought from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). However, an attack was only one of the possibilities being investigated.
“We are looking at all possibilities,” he said. “We cannot jump the gun. Our focus now is to find the plane.”
The Chinese official Xiamen Daily reported that one of the passengers who was supposed to be on the flight, according to the manifest, was at home in China. The name on the passport and the passport number did not match, according to the newspaper.
It was not immediately clear if the Chinese person’s identity was among those being investigated.
There were no confirmed signs of the plane or any wreckage on Sunday, well over 24 hours after it went missing. Search operations continued through the night, officials said.
“In fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, USA, will be assisting Malaysia Airlines in this crucial time,” the airline said in a statement.
Vietnamese naval boats sent from the holiday island of Phu Quoc patrolled stretches of the Gulf of Thailand, searching for any wreckage, scouring the area where an oil slick was spotted by patrol jets just before nightfall on Saturday.
“Our two rescue boats have approached the two oil spills since 3 a.m. today but we haven’t found any sign of the Malaysian plane yet. Other boats are ready to go to support if needed,” Admiral Ngo Van Phat told Reuters.
There were no indications of sabotage nor claims of an attack. But the passenger manifest issued by the airline included the names of two Europeans – Austrian Christian Kozel and Italian Luigi Maraldi – who, according to their foreign ministries, were not on the plane.
A foreign ministry spokesman in Vienna said: “Our embassy got the information that there was an Austrian on board. That was the passenger list from Malaysia Airlines. Our system came back with a note that this is a stolen passport.”
Austrian police had found the man safe at home. The passport was stolen two years ago while he was travelling in Thailand, the spokesman said.
The foreign ministry in Rome said no Italian was on the plane either, despite the inclusion of Maraldi’s name on the list. His mother, Renata Lucchi, told Reuters his passport was lost, presumed stolen, in Thailand in 2013.
U.S. and European security officials said that there was no proof of foul play and there could be other explanations for the use of stolen passports.
A Malaysian official with knowledge of the investigation said the passengers being checked had all bought their tickets through China Southern Airlines, which was code-sharing the flight with Malaysia Airlines, the official said.
Passengers on board the flight included 20 employees of Austin, Texas-based chip maker Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. Twelve of the employees were from Malaysia and eight from China, the company said in a statement.
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