Wreck hunter claims Malaysian consul assassinated over MH370 debris

 |Sep 1, 2017
The Foreign Ministry today expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Malaysian Honorary Consul to the Republic of Madagascar, Houssenaly Zahid Raza (right), who died last Aug 24 in Antananarivo, Madagascar. (Pic source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia website)

PETALING JAYA: Was the Malaysian Honorary Consul in Madagascar assassinated? That is what wreck hunter Blaine Gibson is claiming and his bizzare claim gets more ludicrous as he said it had to do with the MH370 debris found in Malagasy.

Houssenaly Zahid Raza died recently in Antananarivo, Madagascar and his demise was acknowledged by Wisma Putra on Aug 30 although no details were provided on the cause or circumstances surrounding his death.

News.com.au reported that he was gunned down in the centre of the island nation’s capital Antananarivo in an apparent assassination on Aug 24.

Australian daily Perth Now quoted Gibson as saying Houssenaly was assassinated and that the new debris finds (allegedly of MH370) were to be handed over to Houssenaly and delivered by private courier to Malaysia. However, the report claimed Houssenaly was assassinated on Aug 24 before he could carry out his task.

“For the protection of those involved, we decided not to make this report public until the debris was safely delivered to Malaysia,” Gibson, who is searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Madagascar, was quoted as saying.

Gibson claimed he was to deliver parts purportedly linked to the missing plane to Houssenaly prior to his death.

Gibson, who located a wing stabiliser from the plane last year, also alleged that he was receiving death threats over his efforts to locate the plane’s wreckage.

Malaysia’s foreign ministry had conveyed its condolences over the death and said Houssenaly was first appointed Malaysia’s Honorary Consul in Madagascar in December 2013 for a three-year term.

“Based on his excellent performance in safeguarding and promoting Malaysia’s interests in the republic, the Malaysian government renewed his contract for the post for another three years until December 2019,” the ministry said.

According to the Perth Now report, a representative of the Independent Group, a team of aviation and mathematical experts following the disappearance of MH370, said the timing of Houssenaly’s death was “suspicious” as he had been expected to visit the Malagasy transport ministry to retrieve the debris and deliver it to Malaysia.

Noting that Houssenaly had been of French Malagsy nationality, the representative added that the alleged assassination had been met with “stony silence” from both French and Malaysian authorities.

Gibson said the debris is still with Madagascar authorities but new arrangements must be made for the collection.

MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 while carrying 239 people and has not been found.

Search efforts for the plane had been concentrated in the southern Indian Ocean, however, based on oceanographic analyses, but these were called off after failing to detect any signs of the plane or the people on board.