‘Fake ID call’ made to Malaysia pilot before take off
One of the last phone calls on Captian Zaharie's phone was from an untraceable SIM card purchased with a fake identity
A two-minute phone call to Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah shortly before take-off may shed light onto the lingering mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines plane.
One of the last phone calls made to or from Zaharie’s phone before flight MH370 left Kuala Lumpur 16 days ago was from a mobile number obtained under a false identity, The Daily Mail reported Monday.
Investigators are taking the new discovery seriously because when registering a pay-as-you-go SIM card in Malaysia, a passport number or identity must be given.
The fact that the particular number had been bought “very recently” under a woman’s name using a false identity has raised serious suspicions among investigators.
The revelation raises questions of possible ties between Captain Zaharie, 53, and terror groups who routinely use untraceable SIM cards.
Everyone else who spoke to the pilot on his phone in the hours leading up to the flight has already been interviewed.
While investigators waited two weeks out of respect, they are now poised to begin questioning his estranged wife, the mother of his three children.
Malaysian investigators unearthed the unexplained phone call when the phone records of both Zaharie and co-pilot 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid were examined.
Authorities have highlighted the fact that registered number under a non-existent ID does not necessarily point to a criminal or terrorist connection.
Political activists in Malaysia frequently use similar untraceable SIM cards in fear their phones are being tapped by the country’s authoritarian ruling party.
It was revealed last week that the veteran pilot was an passionate supporter of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was also a distant relative. He may have attended a controversial court hearing of Anwar’s only a few hours before the flight.
FBI investigators are coming from the United States to examine the hard drive of a flight simulator seized from Zaharie’s home after it was discovered he had deleted some of the programs on it.
Flight MH370, which was carrying 239 people, disappeared from radar screens about an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur, after climbing to a cruising altitude of 35,000 ft (10,670 meters).
No distress signal was sent from the lost plane which experts said suggested a sudden catastrophic failure or explosion, but Malaysia’s air force chief said radar tracking it intentionally turned back from its scheduled route before it disappeared.
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