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Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman

- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2014

The tickets for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 used by passengers carrying stolen passports were purchased by an Iranian man, authorities say.

At least two people on board the plane were traveling on stolen passports for travel from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam via Beijing. The Italian passport's ticket continued on to Copenhagen, Denmark. The Austrian passport's ticket ended in Frankfurt, Germany, CNN reported.

According to Thai police officials, an Iranian middleman by the name of Kazem Ali booked the tickets through a travel agency in Pattaya, Thailand, for two people who he said wanted to return home to Europe.

Benjaporn Krutnait, owner of the Grand Horizon travel agency, said Mr. Ali had been using her travel agency for about three years.

There is no evidence that the Iranian knew the two men were traveling on stolen passports. Miss Krutnait told the Financial Times that it was quite common for people to book tickets through middlemen who then retake a commission.

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