Paris, Jan 6: A French background check of passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which mysteriously disappeared in 2014, has found no cause for suspicion, concurring sources said today. France has opened its own investigation into the disappearance because four French nationals were among the 227 passengers and 12 crew aboard the flight. The investigators and three examining magistrates met with relatives of the four on Thursday to brief them on progress. The relatives were told that background checks on passengers and crew by France’s domestic intelligence agency, the DGSI, “turned up negative,” according to sources close to the inquiry.
Ghyslain Wattrelos, whose wife and two of his children were onboard, confirmed this account. “They told us that the search didn’t turn up anything,” he told AFP. Questions about passenger and crew background emerged when the Malaysian authorities said two Iranian passengers on the flight had been travelling on stolen passports. But Interpol said they were most probably migrants trying to reach Europe. At Thursday’s meeting, a French specialist also provided the final version of an interim report that had been drawn up in September, “but it didn’t say anything that was much new,” Wattrelos’ lawyer, Marie Dose, said. She praised the examining magistrates for their “remarkable” work.
MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. It is believed that the Boeing 777 crashed into the Indian Ocean, but an extensive deep-sea hunt off Australia’s west coast has failed to find a single piece of debris. On Friday, Malaysia’s transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said the hunt would end in two weeks. Liow did not specify a date but said a tripartite meeting will be held after a final report is released when the 120,000-square-kilometre (46,000-square- mile) search ends. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which has been leading the search mission, said in a report last month that the jet is almost certainly not in the current search zone and may be further north.