Malaysian police today went to the house of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the pilot of the missing flight MH370, minutes after Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that investigators will refocus on the crew and passengers of the aircraft that disappeared eight days ago.
Two police officers went to 53-year-old Capt Zaharie’s house in the suburb of Shah Alam here, officials said, without further elaborating.
Zaharie, a pilot with 18,365 flight hours under his belt, is reportedly also a flight instructor.
He has been in the news after the mysterious disappearance of the plane on March 8. The questions have been raised in the media over a flight simulator found at his home.
The move came hours after Prime Minister Najib said the missing aircraft’s communication system and the transponder were switched off deliberately “by someone on the plane”.
He stopped short of saying the plane had been hijacked.
“The last satellite communication was at 8.11 am (local time) on March 8,” Najib said, suggesting that the plane was in the air for 7.5 hours after it lost the control.
The plane had left Kuala lumpur for Beijing at 12:41 am on March 8 and lost contact with civilian radar an hour later.
Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said earlier this week that the airline had no policy forbidding staff from owning the technology.
He said Capt Zaharie was allowed to pursue his hobbies.
“There are several other guys (pilots) who also have flight simulators in their home,” he had said.
Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had said the authorities will search the home of MH370 crew members if it was necessary to do so.
Zaharie and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, were among the 12-member crew of the plane with 227 passengers on board including five Indians and one Indian-origin Canadian.
Outside of aviation, he had a YouTube channel dedicated to DIY projects, where he told viewers how to fix home appliances like air-conditioners.