Is the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 jet a victim of terrorism? That angle is one possibility that has come up after the Foreign Ministry of Italy said that one passenger listed on the flight manifest, Italian Luigi Maraldi, is not on board the plane since his passport was stolen in Thailand in August 2013.
Walter Maraldi, the father of Luigi, told the New York Post in a telephone call from northern Emilia-Romagna in Italy, that his son deposited the passport with a car rental agency and upon return of the vehicle, found the passport was stole.
Luigi acquired a new passport in Thailand to be able to continue his travel, the elder Mr Maraldo added. The Italian Interior Ministry said that Luigi reported the theft of his passport upon his return to Italy on Aug 1, 2013, and the ministry recorded the details of the stolen identity document on the Interpol database.
Mr Maraldi added that his 37-year-old son called from Thailand to assuage them that he was not on the missing plane after news came out with his name listed on the flight manifest.
A similar disclosure was made by the Austrian Foreign Ministry of a male Austrian, but the ministry did not release his name although the manifest says a 30-year-old Austrian man named Christian Kozel was supposed to be on that flight.
Family members of those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight walk into the waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 8, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines flight was carrying 152 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians and seven Australians among the 227 passengers, the airline said on Saturday. There were also three U.S. citizens, three from France, two passengers each from New Zealand, Ukraine, and Canada, and one each from Italy, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Austria, the airline said in a statement. There were also two infants. Twelve crew members were also on the flight. Flight MH 370 operating a Boeing B777-200 aircraft left Kuala Lumpur at 12.21 a.m. (1621 GMT Friday) and had been expected to land in Beijing at 6.30 March 7, 2014
The plane had 227 passengers and 12 crew members when it lost contact with the Subang Air Traffic Control at 2:40 am just two hours into the flight. It was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6:30 am.
With the discovery of the two stolen passport, Chinese authorities has tightened its security at the country's airports.