PARIS — Interpol says no country checked its database that held information about two stolen passports that were used to board an ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people on board.
In a sharply worded criticism of shortcomings of national passport controls, the Lyon, France-based international police body said information about the thefts of an Austrian passport in 2012 and an Italian passport last year was entered into its database after they were stolen in Thailand.
The Malaysian Boeing 777 disappeared Saturday less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Beijing.
Interpol said in a statement it was investigating all other passports used to board flight MH 370 and was working to determine the “true identities” of the passengers who used the stolen passports.
Angry family members of Chinese passengers of Malaysian Airlines’ missing Boeing 777 on Sunday called for the Chinese government to represent them in taking unified action in finding out the truth about the jet’s sudden disappearance.
A representative for the families, who refused to give his name, showed a petition signed by the families to media in Beijing on Sunday.
Three demands were made in the statement.
First, requesting Malaysia Airlines “to publicise the truth about the event by 1700 Beijing time (0900GMT)” on Sunday.
Second, urging the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pay more attention to the case and help solve it.
Third, asking the Chinese government “to assign its officials to coordinate with the family members of the passengers of the missing flight and take unified action in negotiating with the Malaysian side.”
Also on Sunday, a Malaysia Airlines spokesman, Ignatius Ong, said the families had been informed and said they should “expect the worst” as the search operation was still ongoing and there was no confirmed sighting of debris in the seas.
Two-thirds of the jet’s passengers were from China. The rest were from elsewhere in Asia, North America and Europe.
A massive international sea search has so far turned up no trace of the plane, which lost contact with the ground when the weather was fine, the plane was already cruising and the pilots didn’t send a distress signal – unusual circumstance for a modern jetliner operated by a professional airline to crash.
Flight MH370 was carrying 239 people when it lost contact with ground controllers somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam after leaving Kuala Lumpur early on Saturday morning for Beijing.
Information from The Associated Press used in this report.