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Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: 19-year-old Iranian heading to Germany to meet mother

Published on Mar 11, 2014 7:56 PM
 
A combination photo shows two men whom police said were travelling on stolen passports onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane, taken before their departure at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in this March 11, 2014 handout courtesy of the Malaysian Police. Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad (left), one of the two passengers who boarded Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 using a stolen passport, was a 19-year-old Iranian who might have been trying to migrate to Germany where his mother is. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

SEPANG - One of the two passengers who boarded Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 using a stolen Austrian passport was a 19-year-old Iranian who might have been trying to migrate to Germany where his mother is.

The passenger, identified as Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, was unlikely to be a member of any terrorist group, Malaysia's police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

The authorities have been in contact with the teenager's mother who was waiting for him in Frankfurt.

"His mother was expecting him to arrive in Frankfurt. When he didn't arrive, she contacted us, That's how we knew he is the one travelling with the stolen passport," Mr Khalid revealed.

He said after the Iranian's identity was established, a background check was conducted on him and his profile was sent to other police authorities.

"We believe he is not likely to be a member of any terrorist group. We believe he is trying to migrate to Germany," said Mr Khalid. He added that the mother was aware that her son was travelling with a stolen passport.

Investigations revealed that Mr Pouria had arrived in Malaysia at about 8pm on Feb 28 and he had produced the stolen Austrian passport for clearance at Malaysia immigration. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Asmawati Ahmad said the image on the biodata page in the passport was matched with the bearer of the passport.

Relevant questions including the reason for travelling into the country were asked before a 90-day social visit pass was issued to him, added the head of corporate communications of the Royal Malaysia Police.

On Mar 7, at about 8pm, the Iranian presented the same stolen passport and a boarding pass for clearance at immigration to board MH370.

A second man with a stolen Italian passport also arrived in Malaysia on Feb 28 and he told the immigration officer that he had flown in from Phuket.

While Malaysian authorities did not reveal the identity of the second man, Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble told a separate press conference that the man was Delavar Seyed Mohammadreza, 30, also believed to be Iranian. Mr Noble asked the media and the public to help confirm his identity.

As it was the first time that both men had entered Malaysia, there was no prior record of their biometrics with the Malaysian immigration.

Their biometrics were taken on the day they arrived in Malaysia, said ACP Asmawati. Hence when they departed on Mar 7, their biometrics matched the immigration records.

joycel@sph.com.sg

 

 

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