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Phuket police seek more info on stolen passport

Phuket police have asked for more information from the Italian man who lost his passport in Thailand last year but appears on the passenger manifest of the Malaysia Airlines jet that went missing on Saturday.

Luigi Maraldi, 37, appears to be safe in Phuket and has reportedly got in touch with the local police in Krathu district.

Malaysia yesterday launched a terror probe into Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 carrying 239 people, which disappeared from the radar screen en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, as some passengers are believed to have used stolen passports including the one issued to Maraldi.

Pol Lt-General Panya Marman, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 8, said Maraldi had reported to Thai police that his passport went missing on July 22 last year.

Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said the Civil Aviation Department had already informed its Malaysian counterpart that it was ready to help.

"Malaysia wants us to conduct aerial searches along Thailand's coast," he said via Facebook.

The Navy and the Air Force have already been instructed to support such missions.

Navy spokesman Rear Admiral Karn Dee-ubon said the Navy had prepared at least three ships and one aircraft.

"We will dispatch them, if a request arrives," he said.


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