Missing MH370: Spotting fake passports job of police not airlines, says IATA

Missing MH370: Spotting fake passports job of police not airlines, says IATA

GENEVA - Spotting fake passports like those carried by two travellers on the missing Malaysian passenger jet is the job of border police and not the airlines, the chief of the industry's global body IATA said on Wednesday.

Tony Tyler told a news conference that only governments through their police forces had access to a huge official database of stolen or lost travel documents that could confirm if they were being used illegally.

"If there is a problem with border control and invalid passports, that is an issue which governments have to step up to and address," said Tyler, whose International Air Transport Association links over 90 per cent of world's airlines.

The international police agency Interpol said only a handful of governments from its 190 member countries actually made use of the database at its headquarters in Lyon, France.

The issue of who might be blamed for letting two young Iranians onto Malaysian Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 at KL International Airport last Saturday has been under review since the jetliner disappeared soon after take-off.

It was carrying 239 passengers and crew on a flight to Beijing. An international search and rescue operation across a wide area of Southeast Asia has not yet located the plane, a Boeing 777, or any wreckage.

Initially there was speculation that the Iranians may have been part of a terror network, but this idea was later largely discarded when they were identified as probable asylum seekers, one of whom had close family in Germany.

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