MIAMI — In the aftermath of March disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, it was discovered that two passengers onboard used stolen passports. To that end, AirAsia and Qatar Airways have become the first and second airlines, respectively, to sign up for Interpol’s I-Checkit system.
The system allows airlines and other select partners in the travel, hotel and banking industries to screen the passports of its passengers against Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.
The database was created in 2002 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to help Interpol member countries secure their borders and protect their citizens from terrorists and other dangerous criminals using fraudulent travel documents.
The database, which started with a few thousand records from 10 countries, now contains information on more than 43 million travel documents, including passports, identity documents and visas, reported lost or stolen by 168 countries.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said the tragic disappearance of MH Flight 370 and the two passengers who used stolen passports to board the flight was a turning point that has caused government officials, terrorism experts, law enforcement, the media and private citizens to take notice of the very real danger presented by individuals traveling on stolen passports.