Most of the debris found in the Maldives were not from missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, the Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lal has said.
Since the discovery of a wing fragment on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion in early August, some five islands in the Maldives have reported finding unidentified debris.
MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, with 239 people aboard while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Liow said a Malaysian team sent to the Madlives on Tuesday had examined the debris. “Most of the debris are negative. They are not related to MH370 and they are not plane material.”
The team is still sifting through materials and would bring back any materials suspected to be from MH370 to Malaysia for further analysis, he said.
Active air and sea searches off Reunion Island will stop this Monday, authorities have said. Since the discovery of the flaperon, no other objects have been found.
The Maldives was in the global media spotlight shortly after MH370 went missing with locals on the island of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu Atoll insisting they saw a low-flying plane on the morning MH370 disappeared.
But president’s office minister Mohamed Hussain Shareef ‘Mundhu’ told The AFP that defence radar and surveillance data showed no unidentified vessel had entered Maldivian airspace.
Shortly after the discovery of the flight’s flaperon in Reunion, a staff on Banyan Tree resort on Vabbinfaru island posted pictures of debris he had discovered on the beach in late May. The three-foot metal object was thrown out as garbage, but the police managed to recover a four inch piece.
Islanders from Baa atoll Fehendhoo, Baa atoll Fulhadhoo and Haa Alif Uligan also reported finding eight-foot long styrofoam objects on the beach. A captain of a barge that sank near the area in February has said the objects are materials for resort construction.