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Interpol rejects Malaysian claim that verifying passports is too time consuming

Interpol has rejected comments from a Malaysian minister that it takes too much time and is too difficult to check the international police agency's database to confirm if a passport has been stolen.

The issue arose because two passengers used stolen passports to board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went down in the southern Indian Ocean after going off-course for unknown reasons March 8.

An Interpol statement late Friday said "Malaysia's decision not to consult Interpol's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database before allowing travelers to enter the country or board planes cannot be defended by falsely blaming technology or Interpol."

According to the Malay Mail Online, Interior Minister Zahid Hamidi said Interpol's passport database was "too large" and would be too much for Malaysia's database management system.