Travelling may not be everyone’s cup of tea but we can all agree that it’s something you may look forward to especially if you’re off to a much needed vacation. However, the journey and process itself may be a little taxing and arduous such as long flight hours, misplaced passports or flight tickets, missing luggage, long airport queues, and countless horror travelling stories we won’t even bother getting into.
However, there’s one particular thing you need
to stray away if you would like a smooth-sailing journey. Do not, under any circumstances try to crack jokes about a bomb while you’re at an airport or on an aircraft. Save your jokes for your friends and family at home and who are more likely to appreciate your stand-up routine. Unless, you’d like to cause an international crisis or maybe it’s just because you love adding extra hours to your already long, exhausting journey. Just be wary though, your distasteful action may cause some serious repercussions.
Earlier this year, A Turkish Airlines flight bound for Istanbul from Houston, had to be diverted
to Ireland because someone thought it was funny to leave a hand-written note with the word ‘bomb’ on it. The note was found in one of the plane’s toilets. The news made headlines all over the world and caused temporary panic. Police officials are still investigating the case.
Last year, a Polish man told
Small Planet Airlines cabin crew that he “might be carrying explosives” in his luggage. The 67-year-old man later admitted to officials that he was only joking. It turns out he had a little too much to drink prior to the flight and now may face up to 15 years behind bars.
Sometimes, when jokes don’t seem to work anymore, all it takes is a little drama between your significant other to create the next bomb hoax. A few weeks ago, a woman called
in Swiss customs at the Geneva airport to notify them that “a person carrying a bomb would be in the French sector of the airport." Her call caused armed police officials to barricade the Geneva Airport, heightened security checks at airports and the closure of several airport entrances, multiple roadblocks, and increased police patrols.
Image: Marina Depetris/Reuters
Police then traced the call all the way to Annecy, France and raided the address. They detained a woman for questioning. She confessed that it was all a hoax just to “prevent her husband from leaving the country.” We know, *major face palm*. Well folks, we’ve all learned a valuable lesson here; leave your marital problems where it should be – at home.
The scenario isn’t any different than in our beloved country. We’ve got quite a handful of cases happening lately so here’s a short timeline of who did what, where, and when.
16th August 2016 – Malacca International Airport
A flight to Pekan Baru was delayed
for two hours after an Indonesian couple was overheard saying the word “bomb” at the check in counter. Action was immediately taken and a bomb squad was deployed to the airport. Police conducted checks at the airport, on the aircraft as well as the couple’s luggage but nothing out of the ordinary was found. The couple also went through a full screening. It turns out that the bomb scare was caused by a “miscommunication” between the airline staff and couple. Melaka Tengah district police chief, ACP Shaikh Abd Adzis Shaikh Abdullah confirmed that there we indeed no bomb threats and the counter staff misunderstood the pair.
3rd August 2016 – KLIA2
Image: M Radzi Desa
A passenger was overheard saying “ada bom kot” (maybe there’s a bomb) causing an Air Asia flight to Bandar Aceh to be halted. An eyewitness told Astro Awani
that the situation was tense between a male passenger and a flight attendant after he mentioned something about a bomb. The aircraft was evacuated and immediately taken to a secluded location for a thorough checking by the police officials. The aircraft and cargo was cleared and later took off almost seven hours after its initial time. The man was brought in for questioning.
22nd July 2016 – Penang International Airport
Another Air Asia flight from Penang to Jakarta was delayed
for two hours after an Indonesian couple, Kawan Tambunan and Wahyuningsih joked that they were carrying a bomb in their hand luggage after they refused to stow it away in the overhead compartment. The flight attendant alerted the police and the couple was arrested. After security checks, police found no bombs but only medical supplies. Both of them had to pay a steep price for their untimely joke by paying a RM1, 000 fine for criminal intimidation. Their passports and belongings were confiscated for further investigation.
21st July 2016 – Kuching International Airport
Image: Berita Sabah Online
Police officers detained
an army lance corporal after he told airline employees that he had a bomb in his bag and wanted to blow up the airport. The staff even asked the 27-year-old army officer again just to be sure and the man had given him the same answer. The airline employee immediately alerted his supervisor and a police report was lodged. Police officers conducted security checks on his luggage but only found ikan terubuk
(salted fish) and kek lapis
Sarawak (layer cake). This incident caused three flights to be delayed including the one to Kota Bharu, which he was initially bound to. He was later arrested and the case will be brought to court.
17th May 2016 – Subang Airport
Image: Youtube - NowGetThere
A Firefly flight had to return
to the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang after taking off to Singapore when the airport reception received two anonymous calls claiming there was a bomb on the flight. The plane immediately made an emergency landing a bomb squad checked the plane for any explosives. All crew members and passengers were also questioned. No bomb was eventually found. A businessman was later charged
in court for making the hoax bomb call. He pleaded not guilty. The accused is a director of several companies and had committed the act at a Firefly customer service office in Citta Mall. He was granted bail and was scheduled for a next hearing with the court.