Interpol has released an image of two Iranians who were traveling with stolen passports on a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.
The image showed the two Iranian men boarding a plane at the same time.
Interpol secretary general Ronald K. Noble said Tuesday the two men traveled to Malaysia on their Iranian passports, then apparently switched to the stolen Austrian and Italian documents.
Noble said the recent information about the men made terrorism a less likely cause of the plane's disappearance, but that did not allay concerns about the ease of travel involving stolen passports.
He identified the men as Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29. The 19-year-old is believed to have planned to seek asylum in Germany.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
A Vietnamese official says searchers on ships worked throughout the night but could not find a rectangle object spotted Sunday afternoon that was thought to be one of the doors of a missing Boeing 777.
Doan Huu Gia, the chief of search and rescue coordination center, said Monday that six planes and seven ships from Vietnam were searching for the object but nothing had been found.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing early Saturday morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
The plane lost contact with ground controllers somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam, and searchers in a low-flying plane spotted an object that appeared to be one of the plane's doors, the state-run Thanh Nien newspaper said.
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Interpol says it's troubling that despite repeated warnings about passport fraud, people continue to be allowed to board flights without having their passports checked against the police agency's stolen-documents records.
The international police organization says last year, passengers boarded planes over a billion times without their passports being checked against Interpol's database of 40 million stolen or lost travel documents.
The France-based agency says that happened again when two people boarded the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight with passports that were on file with Interpol as stolen.
Information about the thefts of an Austrian passport in 2012 and an Italian passport last year was entered into Interpol's database after they were stolen in Thailand. But Interpol says no checks of the stolen passports were made "by any country" before the flight.
Interpol says it's working to determine the true identities of the two passengers.
In a statement, Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble says it's too soon to speculate about any connection between the stolen passports and the missing plane. But he says "it is clearly of great concern that any passenger was able to board an international flight using a stolen passport listed in Interpol's databases."
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.