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Missing plane highlights Phuket's stolen passport trade
WAtoday Western Australia ^ | March 9 2014 | Lindsay Murdoch

Posted on 03/08/2014 7:45:46 PM PST by texas booster

Investigations into the stolen passports of two passengers listed on missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 have swung to the Thai resort island of Phuket, where there is a thriving stolen passport racket.

Police in Malaysia have also viewed CCTV footage of the passengers on the flight, specifically looking for images of two men listed as Italian Luigi Maraldi and Austrian Christian Kozel.

Mr Maraldi, 37, was surprised to see his name on the passenger manifest because he was in fact holidaying in Thailand.

He rang his father, Walter in Cesena, Italy, according to Italian press reports.

“Ciao, dad,” the younger Maraldi said. “Have you heard the news about the missing plane? Don’t worry, it wasn’t me who was listed as a passenger on board. I don’t know why my name is on the list, or what happened but I’m ok. I’m in Thailand.”

On an earlier trip to Phuket in August last year Mr Maraldi had his passport stolen from a car rental agency. According to media reports quoting Austrian authorities Mr Kozel had his passport stolen in the same part of Phuket 18 months earlier.

Both Mr Maraldi are Mr Kozel are reportedly men with average builds and both wear eye glasses.

The Italian honorary consul in Phuket Francesco Pensato confirmed Mr Maraldi is in Phuket and Italian authorities are checking whether the man on the plane may have been a different man with the same name and date of birth. Malaysia Airlines’ code-share partner China Southern Airlines had sold seven tickets for flight 370, including those in the names of Maraldi and Kozel.

Malaysian authorities are cautiously saying talk about the possibility of a terrorist attack bringing down the plane is pre-mature.

“We are looking at all possibilities – it’s too early to reach any conclusions,” said Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak.

But the curious thefts of the passports will be a focus of a team of FBI investigators who are flying from the United States to assist Malaysian and other international investigators.

Malaysian authorities have not commented on the CCTV video of the passengers who boarded the early morning Saturday flight at Kuala Lumpur's international airport for the almost six hour flight to Beijing.

CCTV footage of their luggage has also been scrutinized.

“We cannot reveal any more for security reasons,” said Department of Civil Aviation official Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

Hundreds of passports are lost or stolen on Phuket each year, raising fears they could fall into the hands of criminal or terrorist networks.

Honorary consuls representing countries there often deal with tourists who report their passports missing.

Former Australian honorary consult Larry Cunningham, who retired from his Phuket posting last September, said during his time as consul passport thefts occurred regularly.

“Some passports were certainly lost, falling out of pockets or being genuinely misplaced. But there were also substantial incidents of passports being stolen,” he said.

Six Syrian men have been held at Phuket airport for months after travelling on fake Greek passports.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/missing-plane-highlights-phukets-stolen-passport-trade-20140309-hvgrt.html#ixzz2vQw9a6nP


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: iran; malaysia; mh370; terrorism; thailand; waronterror
Six Syrian men have been held at Phuket airport for months after travelling on fake Greek passports.

So fake passport do not equate with stolen passports but there are multiple criminals and gangs that love multiple identities.

Interesting take from Parth.

1 posted on 03/08/2014 7:45:46 PM PST by texas booster
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To: texas booster

Too bad we can’t make a statement of “Phuket” to Bammy and make it stick.


2 posted on 03/08/2014 7:49:16 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

:Too bad we can’t make a statement of “Phuket” to Bammy and make it stick.”
_________________________________________________
Yes, I would love to tell Bamster to PHUKET.
Actually I did visit Phuket in 1999. It is not so bad.
It is the only time and place where I rode an elephant.


3 posted on 03/08/2014 8:06:23 PM PST by AlexW
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To: texas booster

Still, there is no need to check the borders...we have never been safer:)


4 posted on 03/08/2014 8:08:02 PM PST by Beowulf9
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To: texas booster

The fact they mentioned the f.b.i. flying in makes me oooh so confident everything will be handled well.


5 posted on 03/08/2014 8:18:26 PM PST by easternsky
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To: texas booster

Fake (in addition to stolen) passports are no longer rare or unusual.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-388912/My-fake-passport-Britain.html


6 posted on 03/08/2014 8:42:56 PM PST by House Atreides
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To: texas booster

Evidently it is 1970, where no Asian airports have any databases of stolen passports to flag on go thru -or no Interpol warning list -
Well duhhhhhhh n double duhhh


7 posted on 03/08/2014 8:51:52 PM PST by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.")
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To: easternsky

“The fact they mentioned the f.b.i. flying in makes me oooh so confident everything will be handled well”

You have a problem with James Kallstrom heading the investigation?.


8 posted on 03/08/2014 8:57:11 PM PST by Figment
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To: bunkerhill7

Wish I could go back to 1970...a better time.


9 posted on 03/08/2014 8:59:33 PM PST by Kackikat
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To: AlexW

I rode an elephant in the USA in a shopping center parking lot eons ago...two of us, one on each side.


10 posted on 03/08/2014 9:01:06 PM PST by Kackikat
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To: House Atreides
Good article to catch.

Looks like we aren't the only government to spend billions to not really try to catch anybody at the border.

11 posted on 03/08/2014 9:02:24 PM PST by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
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To: Figment; easternsky
You have a problem with James Kallstrom heading the investigation?.

Isn't he the 'go to' guy for airliner crashes involving accidental shootdowns by the military ?

12 posted on 03/08/2014 9:04:45 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (I just messed up my tagline. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: Figment

All I saw was fbi, no name mentioned, and at this point there are not many people on our side iam comfortable with. If we get a good guy they take them out.


13 posted on 03/08/2014 9:20:02 PM PST by easternsky
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To: Paladin2
Too bad we can’t make a statement of “Phuket” to Bammy and make it stick.

I find it amusing that two of the biggest sex destinations in the world are named Phuket and Bangkok.

14 posted on 03/08/2014 10:34:52 PM PST by KevinB (Barack Hussein Obama: Proof-positive that affirmative action does not work.)
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To: KevinB

I hadn’t thought about the second location, but you are correct.


15 posted on 03/08/2014 10:49:47 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Figment
You have a problem with James Kallstrom heading the investigation?

Yes.

He is an expert in covering up airliner disasters. (See TWA Flight 800 where the FBI ignored some 200 eyewitnesses in determining the cause of that mid-air explosion.)

16 posted on 03/08/2014 11:21:32 PM PST by JohnG45
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To: JohnG45
"said Department of Civil Aviation
official Azharuddin Abdul Rahman"
problem solved, Muslims infiltrated Thai Aviation/Administration Agency.

17 posted on 03/08/2014 11:48:01 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi)
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To: texas booster

You can buy anything you want in Bangkok, Phuket, or Pattaya, anything. It’s not without just cause that the Thai protesters are out to cleanup corruption. The Shinawatra government includes a fellow named Chewit who was/is the king of prostitution and trafficking in Bangkok’s Pat Pong, Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza.

In a country with a long history of corruption, the Pua Thai (current edition of Red Shirt) is the most blatant. The educated, middle class and many monks are fed up. We have friends in both camps. Yingluck Shinawatra continues her brother Thaksin’s pandering to the genuine working poor and farmers with outlandish rice price control schemes and other bribe for votes schemes. Thaksin seemingly learned his politics from Huey Long “every man a king”.

The thing is that in 20 years wen I’m dead and gone, someone will be able to post the same rant I am posting. Just change the names.


18 posted on 03/08/2014 11:50:58 PM PST by JimSEA
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To: JimSEA

Taksin pben ahea asat , kah mun ......


19 posted on 03/09/2014 12:30:03 AM PST by LeoWindhorse
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To: texas booster

“Looks like we aren’t the only government to spend billions to not really try to catch anybody at the border.”

But we are the only government spending billions to make sure, when confronted by a hostile illegal, that boarder agents run away and keep their sidearm holstered at all times.


20 posted on 03/09/2014 4:52:51 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: JohnG45

He was coming up next on Fox. I changed the channel immediately.


21 posted on 03/09/2014 5:35:04 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: Paladin2

Puke-et need I say more


22 posted on 03/09/2014 6:09:39 AM PDT by ronnie raygun (zippy the a##clown sez..............................)
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To: PIF; JimSEA; LeoWindhorse; skinkinthegrass; JohnG45; UCANSEE2; easternsky; House Atreides; ...
Latest news from Vietnam on passports: A European security official said it wasn’t uncommon for passengers to board flights using stolen passports. In addition, Beijing has emerged as a bustling transit hub in recent years, providing connecting flights to Europe and elsewhere from other parts of Asia, buoyed in part by a 72-hour visa-on-arrival program.
23 posted on 03/09/2014 7:28:25 AM PDT by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
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To: JohnG45

He is an expert in covering up airliner disasters.

He was an expert at covering up period


24 posted on 03/09/2014 7:28:53 AM PDT by Figment
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To: Dr. Ursus; PIF; JimSEA; LeoWindhorse; skinkinthegrass; JohnG45; UCANSEE2; easternsky; ...
Latest info from Vietnam on the search:

A Vietnamese search aircraft located fragments Sunday floating in waters off southern Vietnam that are suspected of coming from a Malaysia Airlines jetliner that went missing a day earlier with 239 people on board.

The fragments were believed to be a composite inner door and a piece of the tail, Vietnam’s ministry of information and communication said in a posting on its website. They were located about 50 miles south-southwest of Tho Chu island.

Officials released photograph of one fragment floating in the water. Malaysia Airlines said it had received no confirmation regarding the suspected debris.

25 posted on 03/09/2014 7:31:22 AM PDT by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
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To: texas booster

Thanks.


26 posted on 03/09/2014 8:31:52 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: texas booster

Stolen? Yeah, sure but most likely sold by the holder. Lots of Western men living the free and easy life with little money find quick cash by selling their passports.


27 posted on 03/09/2014 8:53:00 AM PDT by bjorn14 (Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. Isaiah 5:20)
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