Cathay passenger wielded Toblerone 'like sword' and demanded to be flown to Sochi

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 April, 2014, 3:16am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 April, 2014, 4:25pm

A passenger accused of making a hoax bomb threat on a Hong Kong-bound flight wrapped his head in two blankets, waved a chocolate bar "like a sword" and demanded the plane be diverted so he could watch the Winter Olympics, a court heard yesterday.

Armed with a large Toblerone bar, Antti Oskari Manselius, 23, from Finland, informed flight attendants he was "robbing" the plane and demanded the Amsterdam-to-Hong Kong flight be redirected to Sochi, Tsuen Wan Court heard.

Manselius, who has pleaded not guilty to behaving in a disorderly manner on an aircraft and giving false information on the existence of a bomb, claims he was only making "fun and jokes" to entertain passengers and did not mean the threats.

The court heard that flight attendants Luk Ka-chun, 26, and Leung Hiu-lun, 37, saw Manselius walking towards the cockpit at about 1.15am, almost six hours into Cathay Pacific flight 270 on February 14.

The passenger's head was wrapped in two economy class blankets, leaving only his eyes visible, and he wore another blanket on his back like a cape. In one hand was a large Toblerone chocolate bar that Manselius was "grasping like a sword", said Luk.

"He said, 'I am robbing the plane now. I want to see the Olympics in Sochi and I need to get off the plane now," recalled Leung. "He was furious. He made me feel like he was trying to endanger the aircraft."

Leung said the passenger was not violent, only waving the bar as he talked. Leung told him the service was a direct flight and would not stop in Russia.

Manselius then demanded to see the cockpit. Leung said that, at first, he thought the passenger was trying to hijack the plane. However, he changed his mind when Manselius followed the attendants' instructions to return to his seat in economy class.

There had been a bomb threat, said Leung, but the crew did not search the plane, treating the threat as a joke from a mentally unstable man.

About an hour later, the captain instructed the flight attendants to handcuff Manselius.

A Finnish passenger, a former policeman and an aircrew safety trainer handcuffed Manselius with the help of a cabin crew manager. They also cuffed his legs and fastened his chest with an extra seatbelt. After breakfast was served, Manselius fell asleep.

He was arrested on arrival in Hong Kong, and was taken to the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre before being transferred to the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre. Previously, the court has heard that Manselius, who remains in custody, has a mental problem.

The hearing continues on Wednesday.