Hijacking is now strongly suspected as the cause of the disappearance of MH370 last Saturday with 239 passengers and crew aboard.
In a special press conference Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak told media that the radar tracking by the Malaysian military of an unidentified plane on Saturday March 8 matches satellite tracking of MH370 by Inmarsat.
Both passengers and crew are under investigation.
PM Razak said that plane’s ACARS and Transponders were shutdown at different times.
ACARS, which sends limited data related to the plane’s engines and systems stopped operating at 1.07am and the Transponders which send location and identity to air traffic control stopped at around 1.21am.
After the transponders were turned off the plane turned west across Malaysia and then turned north-west.
Satellite interrogation of the plane continued for five hours and the plane may have flown as far north as Republic of Kazakhstan.
Countries that MH370 may have flown over are being asked for primary radar data.
The search for MH370 has been abandoned in the South China Sea and all assets are being redeployed to the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal.
The effort is the largest search in aviation history.
In all, 56 surface ships with 10 shipboard helicopters and 48 fixed-wing aircraft from 14 countries are involved.
The search for MH370 has been dogged by conflicting information and false leads drawing accusations that Malaysia has bungled the response.
However, many of the false leads originated elsewhere.