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Man arrested for making fake bomb threat on board Singapore passenger flight

Threat prompted an escort by fighter jets from the Singapore Armed Forces

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 April, 2018, 11:31am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 April, 2018, 11:31am

By Alfred Chua

The police have arrested a 41-year-old man for making a false bomb threat on board a Scoot flight bound for Hat Yai, Thailand.

The incident, which took place on Thursday afternoon, saw two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) fighter jets being scrambled to meet Scoot flight TR634 at the South China Sea, before escorting the aircraft back to Changi Airport.

After searching the plane and the belongings of the man, and his two travelling companions, the police found no threat.

The man had claimed, to a crew member, that he had a bomb in his hand-carry baggage, preliminary police investigations revealed.

The police added in a media release on Thursday night that the man was arrested under the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations. If convicted, the Singaporean could be jailed up to 10 years, and/or fined up to S$500,000 (US$379,710).

In a statement, Scoot said the plane returned to Changi Airport safely after an “alleged bomb threat” and “the aircraft was escorted back to Singapore by RSAF and safely landed at 15.23hours”.

Flight TR634 was carrying 173 passengers and six crew members. Data from flight tracking sites showed the aircraft to be an Airbus A320.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, the airline operator added that the flight will resume its journey to Hat Yai at 6.30pm.

“We’re working closely with the authorities for necessary follow-up to ensure the safety of our guests,” it said.

All passengers had disembarked the plane safely, the Singapore Police Force said.

Separately, in a Facebook post at about 4.30pm, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen praised the RSAF — whose F15SG fighter jets “took off within minutes” after the bomb threat — for their quick response.

Dr Ng said: “For our RSAF pilots who are on stand-by duties 24/7, every threat is considered real until proven otherwise. They keep us and our skies safe.”

Read the original article at Today Online