Monday, June 23, 2014

Captain of missing MH370 flight identified as prime suspect – report

Published time: June 22, 2014 16:20

Reuters / Samsul Said
Reuters / Samsul Said
The captain of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is now the prime suspect in the ongoing investigation into the plane’s mysterious disappearance, after police found suspicious evidence in his house, according to a media report.

More than three months since the plane disappeared over Southeast Asia, Malaysia’s police force said that following intelligence checks into all people on board Captain Zaharie Shah, 53, was the only one who raised suspicion, according to a report published by The Sunday Times.

Police came to this conclusion after finding a flight simulator in his home with drills rehearsing a flight far out into the southern Indian Ocean and a landing on an island with a short runway, the media report said. The files were deleted from the computer, but experts were able to retrieve them.

Zaharie Shah (Image from
Zaharie Shah (Image from

Zaharie, a father of three, was found to have no social or work-related plans, unlike his colleagues including co-pilot, Fariq Hamid. The newspaper also reported that police were told of rumors concerning tensions in his family.

The results of the inquiry have only been released to foreign governments and disclosed by officials in Southeast Asia to the Sunday Times.

The Boeing 777-200 plane heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew went missing on March 8.

Police said that the criminal investigation does not rule out that the plane went missing due to mechanical failure or an act of terrorism. However, if the flight was lost due to human factors, then the captain is suspected to be the perpetrator.

"The police investigation is still ongoing. To date, no conclusions can be made as to the contributor to the incident and it would be sub judice to say so. Nevertheless, the police are still looking into all possible angles," the Malaysian police was quoted as saying by The Sunday Times.