Passenger booked for hoax bomb threat to Cochin-London Air India flight

Subhaib had requested a return ticket on another date which the airline authorities refused. He made a bomb threat following this.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.

KOCHI: A passenger was detained by the Nedumbassery police on Tuesday for hoax bomb threat to Air India's Cochin-London flight.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, a bomb threat was received by the Air India call centre in Mumbai for flight AI 149, scheduled to fly from Kochi airport to London Gatwick. Air India officials in Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) were alerted about the same at 1:22 am.

The airport followed the protocols, and a Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) was immediately convened at CIAL. Investigations revealed that the caller responsible for the threat was a passenger scheduled to board the same flight.

The police official investigating the case said, "The passenger identified as Suhaib (29), a native of Kondotty Malappuram, made a hoax bomb threat as the airlines refused to provide him with a ticket for another day as his child was suffering from food poisoning."

Representative Image.
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An FIR has been registered under IPC 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and KP Act 118 (b) [knowingly spreads rumours or gives false alarm to mislead the police, fire brigade or any other essential service] and 120 (o) [Penalty for causing nuisance and violation of public order]. The officials also said that Shuhaib would be presented before the magistrate in the afternoon.

Following thorough investigations, the airport authorities cleared the flight for departure at 1:25 pm.

"Suhaib's daughter suffered food poisoning and complained about mistreatment by Air India airline, during his flight from London to Kochi a week and a half ago. Following this, he requested a return ticket on another date which the airline authorities refused. He made a bomb threat following this. Subhaib was intercepted during international departure check-in and was handed over to the police for further questioning," said the SI of Nedumbassery who is investigating the case.

"Thorough security checks conducted by the Airport Security Group (ASG- CISF), airline security personnel, and inline baggage screening systems. Efforts were made to identify the caller who reported the threat to the Mumbai call centre, " said an official statement by CIAL.

"The aircraft was moved to an isolated aircraft parking point, and comprehensive security measures were undertaken. The aircraft was thoroughly checked and subsequently cleared for flight. The check-in process for AI 149 was completed by 10:30 am. The flight departed at 1:25 pm," it added.

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The New Indian Express