The BBC Persian channel interviewed a friend of the two suspect passengers who were traveling with stolen passports. The friend says the two men wanted to migrate to Europe.

The tickets were purchased by an Iranian middle man.

The Telegraph reported:

The two men travelling on stolen passports on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that mysteriously disappeared on Saturday have been identified as Iranian nationals.

A BBC Persian report quotes an Iranian friend of one of the men, who said he hosted the pair in Kuala Lumpur after they arrived from Tehran in the days preceding their flight to Beijing.

The friend, who knew one of the men from his school days in Iran, said the men had bought the fake passports because they wanted to migrate to Europe.

The pair were travelling on passports belonging to Christian Kozel, an 30-year-old Austrian, and Luigi Maraldi, a 37-year-old Italian.

They had bought the passports in Kuala Lumpur as well as tickets to Amsterdam, via Beijing.

One of the Iranian nationals’ intended final destination was Frankfurt, where his mother lives, while the other wanted to travel to Denmark.

The same source that spoke to BBC Persian also emailed CNN with a photograph of him posing with his two friends in the days before they embarked on their fateful trip.

Iranian activist Banafsheh Zand added: There was also an interview on VOA Farsi with the friend of one of the two men, an Iranian who lives in Malaysia and who had spent time with the two men, one of whom was his childhood friend. It is now clear that the two men were fleeing Iran…a sad ending for them.

 

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