Daily ExpressFruit cargo may be key to the fate of missing Malaysian plane
Everyone who handled a cargo of mangosteens being carried by doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has been interviewed by police, it was revealed yesterday.
By: Mark Reynolds
Published: Thu, April 3, 2014
Officers, who claimed to have “some clues”, said nothing was being left to chance in an exhaustive but frustrating investigation.
It is understood officers are investigating the possibility the cargo may have been used to conceal an explosive device.
The exotic fruit was being carried in the hold of the Boeing 777 which disappeared more than three weeks ago on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew.
Inspector-General Tan Sir Khalid Abu Bakar, leading the probe in the Malaysian capital, said the cargo itself was now under investigation, but refused to say what clues had been discovered.
“We are very thorough in our probe. Even the four tons of mangosteens in the aircraft hold is being investigated.
“Investigators are looking into who ordered them, paid for them and plucked and packed them from an orchard in Muar (a town south-east of Kuala Lumpur),” he said. “That is how in-depth this probe is going.”
Detectives said they were focusing on the cabin crew after discounting any involvement of the passengers, two-thirds of whom were Chinese.
They are investigating the pilots and crew for any evidence that they may have hijacked or sabotaged the plane. But they admitted that the investigation might never establish the reason why the plane vanished.
As British nuclear submarine Tireless and the Royal Navy survey ship Echo arrived in the search zone, over 1,000 miles off Western Australia, Malaysian and Australian authorities were unable to deliver any positive news.
Meanwhile, the search operation continued in a vast and remote area of the Indian Ocean.
Angus Houston, head of a joint agency coordinating the multinational effort from Australia, said no time frame had been set for the search to end, but warned that a new approach would be needed if nothing was found.
With no other data available, spotting wreckage is key to narrowing the search area and ultimately finding the plane’s battery-powered flight data recorders, or black boxes.
But these are expected to run out of power within days.