As we reported here, Interpol has identified the two mystery passengers as Iranian nationals Pouria Nour Mohammah Mehrdad, 19, left, and Delavar Seyed Mohammadreza, 29, right.
They were flying on passports that had been stolen in Thailand from Luigi Maraldi and Christian Kozel.
Here is the passport of Luigi Maraldi, 37, Italian:
Maybe they could pass for Luigi, but really, who checked them if they were supposed to look like this guy?
The Telegraph published the above picture of Christian Kozel. Nothing at all like either of the Iranians. Was Malaysian security on crack when they checked him?
I’ve contacted the Telegraph reporter to try to confirm the origin of the picture, since prior media has reported Kozel as “30 years old”. Perhaps it just me, but that picture would have to be the oldest looking 30 year old man I’ve ever seen.
Looks like Telegraph was right, other media wrong; Kozel is 60 years old. Which begs the question still-how did security mistake that?
VIENNA, March 10 — Th 60-year old Austrian whose stolen passport caused him to be registered on seat number 26 of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has given his first interview Monday.
Speaking to the Kronen Zeitung, Christian Kozel, a retired massage therapist living in the city of Salzburg said he was surprised to receive a knock on the door of his apartment on Saturday to find out it was the police.
Upon inquiring as to the nature of the visit, the police officer told Kozel he was glad he was well, and it was not until he checked the news on his smartphone that Kozel was aware that a plane had gone missing.
Shortly thereafter Kozel made the connection – he remembered having his passport stolen two years earlier at the Phuket International Airport in Thailand during a moment of inattention.
He had gone through considerably difficulty to procure an emergency passport and had a difficult trip back home to his native Austria, but had since all but forgotten about it until the incident Saturday, where reporters from TV and radio stations and newspapers from as far abroad as the USA had been looking for him.
Investigations into the individuals using the stolen passports of Kotzel and Italian national Luigi Maraldi are continuing.
One more ding at Malaysian security-Interpol had the stolen passports on a list, but only a few countries check against that list and Malaysia apparently does not check.