Looking for Mr Ali

So this is what we know. (2) people boarded with false passports. (5) people checked in but did not board the flight (their luggages were removed). The tickets for the mysterious (2) passengers were paid for by cash on the request of a Mr Ali, however the actual payment was by a friend (of Mr Ali).

Originally the (2) passengers were supposed to transit via Amsterdam. Since those tickets lapsed the request was for the cheapest, one-way ticket to Beijing.

IMO the whole thing sucks. If they were refugees trying to escape, they should have taken a flight to Europe. Why fly to China- they may even hang you for your pains.

This brings forward the million dollar question: who is Mr Ali?
A Thai travel agent who booked the men with stolen passports onto the missing plane, has told the FT that the tickets were arranged with an “Iranian contact” on behalf of clients looking for cheap tickets to Europe. 

Krutnait, owner of the Grand Horizon travel agency in Pattaya,
Thailand, said the Iranian, a long-term business contact who she knew
only as “Mr Ali”, first asked her to book cheap tickets to Europe for
the two men on March 1.
Ms Benjaporn initially reserved one of the men
on a Qatar Airways flight and the other on Etihad

But the
tickets expired when Ms Benjaporn did not hear back from Mr Ali. When he
contacted her again on Thursday, she rebooked the men on the Malaysia Airlines
flight through Beijing because it was the cheapest available.
Benjaporn booked the tickets through China Southern Airlines via a code
share arrangement.

 A friend of Mr Ali paid Ms Benjaporn cash for
the tickets,
she said, adding that it was quite common for people to
book tickets in Pattaya through middle men such as Mr Ali, who then take
a commission.


Brown Pundits