SYDNEY: On Tuesday (15 Aug), an Australian man faced charges for fabricating a bomb threat during a flight to Malaysia, causing fear and airspace disruption.
The man’s claims of having “explosives” in his backpack caused the Sydney to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Airlines flight MH122 to turn back on Monday afternoon.
AFP previously made an announcement that the 45-year-old man was apprehended without any complications by the authorities.
— Muhammad Zubair (@chzaib) August 14, 2023
A passenger aboard MH122 shared photos of the man’s apprehension by the police due to his disruptive behavior during the mid-flight.
Prior to the arrest, the 45-year-old man was observed conversing with a cabin crew member, declaring himself as the “slave of Allah” and urging fellow passengers to echo the same words.
Police did not specify the nationality of the man though they said he is a resident of Canberra.
Penerbangan MH122 patah balik, polis Australia tahan penumpang lelaki
Kuala Lumpur: Polis Persekutuan Australia (AFP) menahan seorang penumpang yang didakwa mencetuskan 'gangguan' di dalam pesawat Malaysia Airlines MH122 semasa dalam penerbangan.
AFP dalam kenyataan media yang… pic.twitter.com/3Ky7lCSK28
— MYNEWSHUB (@mynewshub) August 14, 2023
In the video, the man was seen wearing a backpack, threatening passengers and staff.
In the sequence that followed, his vocal intensity escalated as he referred to something troubling his heart, while the cabin crew attempted to pacify him.
Afterward, he proceeded to block the aisle by engaging in prayer.
Charges against disruption
According to an AFP statement, the man is facing one charge for falsely stating a threat to damage the aircraft and another charge for failing to follow the directions of the cabin crew.
He is scheduled to appear in Sydney’s Downline Centre Local Court on Tuesday.
The offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of over $15,000, respectively.
The flight to Malaysia, which departed about 1pm, returned to Sydney International Airport at 3.45pm.
The statement concluded that the matter is before court, no further comment or updates will be made at the current stage.