Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Duo with stolen passports not Asian-looking, 'look like footballer Balotelli'

KUALA LUMPUR - The two men who used stolen passports to board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing on Saturday were not of Asian appearance, Civil Aviation Department chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said on Monday.

He told a news conference that after reviewing the CCTV tape many times, "it is confirmed now that they are not Asian-looking men''.

When asked to describe their appearances, he asked: "Do you know a footballer by the name of Balotelli?'' He was referring to AC Milan and Italy striker Mario Balotelli.

Mr Azharuddin also told reporters that all security protocols were complied with at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

On the search and rescue operations, he said Malaysia has expanded its search area for MH370 after three days of scouring the sea failed to bring forth any confirmed sightings of wreckage.

"The area of search has been expanded in the South China Sea," he said.

Besides searching in waters between Malaysia and Vietnam, authorities were also searching on land in Malaysia and off western Malaysia.

Authorities also said on Monday night that new debris had been found south of Hong Kong and they were verifying if this belonged to the missing plane.

The Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people aboard lost contact with air controllers early Saturday.