Last updated Sunday, May 29, 2016 12:54am

Thursday March 13, 2014
03:36 PM GMT+8

UPDATED:
March 15, 2014
04:21 PM GMT+8

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File photo shows a police officer (centre) standing guard at the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 10, 2014. — AFP picFile photo shows a police officer (centre) standing guard at the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 10, 2014. — AFP picKUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Police shot down today reports saying they have launched a probe into one passenger of Uighur descent or searched the homes of the crew of missing flight MH370, calling them “unverified”.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Hadi Ho Abdullah said he had never issued any statement on developments in the police’s probe into the missing plane.

“This is because the probe is confidential and still in the process of investigation,” he said in a brief media statement, written in Malay.

“The police will update on any developments at the appropriate time. Hence, Hence, any confirmation on MH370 is unverified news,” he added.

Malay language daily Harian Metro today ran a report quoting Hadi as saying that the Malaysian police and Interpol are combing through the personal backgrounds of passengers and crew on the missing Boeing 777-200, especially a 35-year-old passenger of Uighur descent.

The Uighurs are a Turkic ethnic group primarily living in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China.

In the Gallery


  • Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein answers questions during a news conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 12, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Indian sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik works on a sand sculpture of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, at golden beach at Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha March 12, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A tribute to the passengers and crew onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is seen inside a Buddhist temple in Kuala Lumpur March 12, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Vietnamese Navy's Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Le Minh Thanh (R) points at a map to show the area where Vietnam is conducting search activities for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 in Phu Quoc island on March 12, 2014. ― AFP pic

  • This handout photograph released by the Indonesian Air Force shows Indonesian Air Force personnel aboard an Indonesian Air Force military surveillance aircraft on March 11 over the Straits of Malacca, a passageway between Indonesia and Malaysia, searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 March 12, 2014. ― AFP pic

  • Buddhist monks pray during an interfaith prayer called "Hope" for the passengers and crew of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a Buddhist temple in Kuala Lumpur March 12, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A family member of Uighur passenger Maimaitijiang Abula, who had been aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, walks surrounded by members of the media outside a hotel in Beijing, March 12, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • People stand on the Bund across from illuminated buildings, on one of which is seen the flight number MH370 of the Malaysia Airlines plane that has been missing since Saturday, in Shanghai, March 12, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Police officers with a dog walk past passengers at Beijing International Airport days after the Beijing-bound Malaysian jetliner MH 370 went missing, March 13, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Search area is seen on an iPad of a military officer onboard a Vietnam Air Force AN-26 aircraft, during a mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, off Con Dao island, March 13, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff Senior Colonel Do Duc Minh sits in the cockpit of a Vietnam Air Force Casa 212 before take-off on a mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a military airport in Ho Chi Minh city March 13, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (C) speaks during a news conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 13, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • A military officer works on a map onboard a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A helicopter at Phu Quoc airport, where Vietnamese search and rescue operations are located. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • Military ships at the naval base in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • A helicopter at Phu Quoc airport, where Vietnamese search and rescue operations are located. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • A plane at Phu Quoc airport, where Vietnamese search and rescue operations are located. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • The air traffic control tower at Phu Quoc airport, where the Vietnamese authorities hold press conferences twice a day. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • A crew member from the Royal Malaysian Air Force looks through the window of a Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Crew members from the Royal Malaysian Air Force prepare a Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft for a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Two girls writing their message at the viewing gallery in KLIA. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • A woman writing her message at the viewing gallery in KLIA. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • Muslim perform their maghrib prayers and Yasin recitation for MH370 at KLIA airport. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • Muslim perform their maghrib prayers and Yasin recitation for MH370 at KLIA airport. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • A child stands alongside other Muslims to perform their maghrib prayers and Yasin recitation for MH370 at KLIA airport. — Picture by Choo Choo May

  • Muslim perform their maghrib prayers and Yasin recitation for MH370 at KLIA airport. — Picture by Choo Choo May

It was reported that the group that killed at least 29 people and wounding 143 with long knives and daggers, in the Kunming railway station on March 1, were allegedly Muslim separatist militants from the western region of Xinjiang, suspected to be of Uighur descent.

Harian Metro’s report also claimed that the police had searched the family homes of crew members, including the pilot and co-pilot of the plane, as terrorism and sabotage has not been ruled out as a reason behind the disappearance of the airliner.

Harian Metro had cited an unnamed source saying Malaysian police and Interpol are focusing their attention on the 35-year-old man because of the skills he possessed.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 aircraft fell off Malaysia’s secondary radar at 1.30am on March 8.

The Beijing-bound plane carrying 239 passengers and crew members was transiting from Malaysian airspace to Vietnamese airspace and were supposed to report to Vietnam’s air traffic control but failed to do so.

Its last location known was 120 nautical miles off Kota Baru, in the South China Sea.

So far, no wreckage or signs of the aircraft and the people onboard have been found, with 12 nations now involved in the massive search, with 42 vessels and 39 aircraft.

The assets are now combing 37,000 square nautical miles in the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca, into the Andaman Sea, round the clock for vessels, and 12-hour operations during the day for air search.

* A previous edition of the story contained several errors which have since been corrected.

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