Last updated Tuesday, September 02, 2014 12:19am

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Italian Luigi Maraldi, whose passport was used by another person to board missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, has been located by Thai police in Phuket, according to local website.

Maraldi returned to the island in Thailand on March 1, where he reportedly lost his passport to fraud during a visit last year.

Thai police tracked down Maraldi earlier today to assist in the case of the still-missing plane that had been bound for Beijing.

“I really don’t have much to add. I am not an expat who lives on Phuket. I have come and gone as a tourist,” Maraldi was quoted as saying on the Phuket Wan website.

According to the report, the Italian explained that he had surrendered his passport on July 22 last year as deposit to a scooter rental operator, who later “returned” the document to another foreigner claiming to be Maraldi’s wife.

Maraldi then lodged a police report on July 25, before he returned to Italy using a temporary passport.

The Italian’s was one of two passports confirmed as having been used by unidentified individuals to board the missing flight; the other belongs to Austrian Christian Kozel, who also reportedly lost his passport in Thailand.

Earlier today, news channel CNN reported that the two passports were used to buy two tickets for MH370 from China Southern Airlines in Thai baht for identical prices and had contiguous numbers.

That the two tickets had adjoining numbers showed they were issued together, CNN said.

Malaysian authorities earlier confirmed two passengers boarded the missing Beijing-bound flight under dubious identities.

In the Gallery


  • Family members of those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight read the Quran inside a car outside the hotel where they are staying in Putrajaya March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A spokesman (centre) of Malaysia Airlines is surrounded by journalists as he gives a briefing about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Beijing March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cry at a hotel in Putrajaya March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Arni Marlina, 36, a family member of a passenger onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, shows a family picture on her mobile phone, at a hotel in Putrajaya March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysia’s former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi takes part in multi-religion mass prayers for the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Volunteer rescue workers and religious organisations pray during multi-religion mass prayers for the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Rescue workers from a Buddhist organisation pray during multi-religion mass prayers for the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Datin Seri Paduka Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, cries with family members of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Putrajaya March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman sleeps as Buddhist monks on stage pray during multi-religion mass prayers for the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • An upset relative of a passenger of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 approaches an official at a hotel in Putrajaya March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A member of the Chinese navy stands next to Chinese navy warship "Jinggangshan" as it prepares to leave for the search and rescue operations of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a port in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province early March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Vietnamese Air Force officers sit in the cockpit of a search and rescue aircraft as they fly over the search area for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, 250 km fromVietnam and 190 km from Malaysia, March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysia Airlines representatives speak at a news conference about information on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Beijing March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ahmad Jauhari Yahya listens at a news conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • DAP's Lim Kit Siang visits the relatives of the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Everly Hotel, Putrajaya, March 9, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein talks to the relatives of the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Everly Hotel, Putrajaya, March 9, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (left) and her daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar (second from left) arrives at Everly Hotel, Putrajaya, March 9,2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A passenger (right) looks at police officers (left) and paramilitary policemen on duty at the Beijing Capital International Airport after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing, in Beijing, March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • China's largest patrol vessel in the South China Sea ‘Haixun 31’ (centre) is seen at a port before leaving for search and rescue operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Sanya, Hainan province, March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A customs officer checks the travel documents and passports of passengers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A relative (left) of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is escorted by a caregiver from Malaysia Airlines as they walk in a corridor at a hotel in Beijing, March 9, 2014. — Reuters pic

The existence of two passengers with stolen passports onboard MH370 raised suspicion of possible foul play in the plane’s disappearance.

The Boeing 777 was first reported missing earlier yesterday morning after MAS confirmed that the Subang Air Traffic Control had notified it that the aircraft dropped off its radar at around 1.30am.

The Beijing-bound flight had departed from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 12.41am carrying 239 people on board, including 12 crew members and two infants.