The 37-year-old foreign national who allegedly made a false bomb threat on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight was charged on Thursday (29 Sep) for causing alarm and voluntarily causing hurt.
Flight SQ33 departed from San Francisco at 10:26pm on Monday (Tuesday, 1:26pm GMT 8:00+) for Singapore.
However, six hours before the aircraft was due to land in Singapore, American La Andy Hien Duc allegedly shouted that there was a bomb in a hand-carry bag.
He then grabbed another passenger’s luggage from the cabin’s overhead compartment.
When a cabin crew member attempted to intervene and restrain him, La Andy Hien Duc purportedly assaulted them, said the police in a statement on Thursday.
The accused was one of the 208 passengers on board the SIA flight, alongside 13 cabin crew members.
The police were informed of the threat at around 2:40am on Wednesday.
Subsequently, two Republic of Singapore Air Force fighter jets were dispatched to escort the aircraft until it landed at Changi Airport at approximately 5:50am.
According to SIA spokesman, SQ33 was brought to an isolated part of the airport for security checks upon landing, and was pulled to Terminal 3 after the false threat was verified.
The Singapore Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosive Defence Group and Airport Police Division were at the scene to verify the claims.
The 37-year-old old man was arrested. He has been remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation.
Due to the additional security measures that were necessary to ensure the safety of all persons on board the flight, the passengers only set foot in the terminal four hours later, at about 9:30am.
The passengers were ushered from the original belt to another area to collect their luggage.
Results From Preliminary Investigations
After conducting preliminary investigations, the Central Narcotics Bureau revealed that the accused’s urine tested positive for controlled drugs.
Although La Andy Hien Duc is a foreign national, under the Tokyo Convention Act 1981, he will be charged under Singapore laws as the crime took place in a Singapore-controlled aircraft flying outside the country.
“The police will not hesitate to take action against anyone who causes public alarm with false threats,” said the police.
False threats not only bring about fear and inconvenience to other members of the public, but it also costs “extensive public resources” to deal with the incident.
Those found guilty of using threatening words that are likely to cause harm can be given a maximum fine of $5,000.
For voluntarily causing hurt, an offender can face a jail term of up to three years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
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