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MH370 was shot down near Vietnam in a shocking cover-up operation, a new book has claimed.
The flight – carrying 239 people – vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, on March 8, 2014.
Investigative journalist Florence de Changy is releasing a new book about the mystery.
She believes the plane ended up in the Gulf of Thailand off Vietnam after a "jet, missile or a new laser-guided weapon system" brought it down, The Sun reports.
However, the Malaysian Government states that “Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.
Florence, an award-winning French journalist who began her investigation a week after the plane disappeared, claims this is a “diversion operation” to cover up illicit goods that were snuck onboard.
She said: "A new laser weapons system was being tested at the time.
"The shooting-down could have been a blunder or a last resort to stop the plane’s special cargo falling into the wrong hands.
“Only military or intelligence sources could provide this kind of detail. The strength of my book is in the timing and the cluster of clues that prove a disaster around 2.45am in the north of Vietnam.”
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Peter Chong, a friend of MH370’s pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 52, told Florence he was on a flight over the Gulf of Thailand days after the tragedy.
He claims crew told him to look at wreckage “to your left”.
Florence wrote: “Peter Chong peered out the window and saw a clearly lit area and was able to make out intensive search operations.
“Chong took this as evidence that Malaysia Airlines believed the plane to have gone down in that area and had informed its crews.”
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Florence believes that fruit on board – 4.5 tonnes of fresh mangosteens – may have been used as a cover for goods like “rhino horns or “elephant tusks”.
She is also suspicious of the 2.5 tonnes of small electrical items onboard which were not X-rayed.
Florence added: The head of one of the biggest cargo airlines in the world said never in his life had he accepted cargo on a plane that had not been X-rayed. The reason given was that it was too bulky. How can walkie-talkies and chargers be bulky?
Ghyslain Wattrelos, who lost his wife and two children in the tragedy, also believes the plane was shot down.
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He earlier argued that Vietnam, Malayia and Thailand could be withholding vital information.
Ghyslain said: “All the military from these countries have seen the plane, if we believe that version. Why are they silent?
“I do not know, but there are also other countries that have information like England with Inmarsat, with Rolls-Royce, like the United States with Boeing and like the FBI who went the next day and took the pilot's flight simulator and never said anything to the investigators.
“Why this silence? There is something we do not want to say in this story.”
The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case Of MH370, by Florence de Changy, is published by HarperCollins on February 4, £14.99.
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