Mother of Italian listed on Malaysia plane says passport stolen

ROME Sat Mar 8, 2014 1:48pm EST

ROME (Reuters) - The mother of an Italian falsely listed as a passenger on a missing Malaysia Airlines flight said her son's passport had been lost, presumed stolen, in Phuket in 2013.

"He lost his passport in Thailand, and he reported it to the authorities... Maybe the one who stole it came to a bad end, we don't know, they have to investigate," Renata Lucchi, the mother of 37-year-old Luigi Maraldi, told Reuters.

Maraldi's name appeared on a passenger manifest issued by the airline, but Lucchi said her son had called her on Saturday morning to say he was well and in Thailand.

The flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew vanished from radar screens between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing and was presumed to have crashed. An Austrian man falsely listed as a passenger had also had his passport stolen.

(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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