The Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 captain answered a mysterious call before take-off from a woman who bought a mobile phone using a fake identity, a new report claims.

The Mail On Sunday claims the call was one of the last on Captain Zahaire Ahmed Shah’s mobile phone before the ill-fated flight left the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on March 8.

The report says investigators are looking into the incident as anyone buying a pre-paid SIM card in Malaysia is subject to an identity check to ensure mobile phone numbers can be traced to people.

In this case the SIM card used to call Captain Shah’s phone was traced to a shop in Kuala Lumpur and had been purchased recently by a woman using a false identity.

The practice is common amongst terror groups and every other person who spoke to Captain Shah before the flight has since been interviewed.

The revelation comes as Australian searchers continue hunting for debris in the southern Indian Ocean as the saga of flight MH370 enters its third week.