Malaysian Flight Mystery Reveals Loophole in Passport Checks


The U.S., the international law enforcement body said, is one of the biggest customers for Interpol's database, searching more than 250 million times per year, followed by the United Kingdom with 120 million annual searches and then 50 million for the United Arab Emirates.

However, many other countries do not, or cannot search for themselves, U.S. and Interpol officials said. A senior Interpol official said that in many third world countries, "ties between law enforcement and border ministries often do not exist," and the counties often do not have the information technology infrastructure to allow them to check Interpol's computerized databases.

But Noble has a message for those that can:

"For the sake of innocent passengers who go through invasive security measures prior to boarding flights in order to get to their destination safely, I sincerely hope that governments and airlines worldwide will learn from the tragedy of missing flight MH 370 and begin to screen all passengers' passports prior to allowing them to board flights. Doing so will indeed take us a step closer to ensuring safer travel," Noble said.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, with 239 passengers on board, disappeared Saturday on its way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China in calm weather with no explanation. Adding to the growing mystery, Malaysian authorities said the plane may have turned back before falling out of radar range, according to The Associated Press.

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