Broke lover's handiwork behind plane hijack email hoax that put airports on high alert last week
The mail warning of a plane hijack that recently led to security high alert at Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai airports was the handiwork of a Hyderabad-based travel agent who could not afford a trip.
HYDERABAD: The mail warning of a plane hijack that recently led to security high alert at Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai airports, it turns out, was the handiwork of a Hyderabad-based travel agent who could not afford a trip proposed by his girlfriend. He was arrested on Thursday.
32-year-old M Vamsi Krishna had a met a woman from Chennai online and had fallen in love. The girlfriend then proposed a trip to Bombay and Goa, but Vamsi did not have enough money to bear the cost of the outing. Though he requested his girlfriend to cancel the plans, she did not budge an inch. To extricate himself from this sticky situation, Vamsi then wove the hijack story so that the flights to Mumbai and Goa would be cancelled. He initially created a fake flight ticket from Chennai to Mumbai and sent it to his girlfriend from his id on April 15, but fearing that his girlfriend might see through his fraud, he decided to send the hoax email.
On April 15 at around 4.47 pm, he sent a mail to Mumbai police from the email id ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and identified himself as a woman. He said that he had overheard six men discussing about hijacking of planes in a hotel and that 23 members in the group should split from Hyderabad and board flights in three cities - Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai - to hijack planes on April 16.
The Mumbai police immediately alerted the Central Industrial Security Force and also Hyderabad and Chennai police, who immediately pressed quick reaction commando teams to remain vigilant. The Mumbai police checked the IP address and sent information to Hyderabad police for verification. Considering the seriousness and sensitivity of the issue, Hyderabad police commissioner M Mahender Reddy instructed officials to check the authenticity of the email.
During inquiry, the IP address was traced to an internet cafe located at Madhura Nagar under SR Nagar police station limits. There were no CCTVs or record of customers. But, based on the time of email generation, eight persons were identified and on verifying the footage of CCTV footage from the neighbourhood, Vamsi Krishna was identified as the sender of the email, said task force DCP B Limba Reddy. “Vamsi hatched the plan to send a hoax email, thinking that the flights would get cancelled,” said Limba Reddy.