A 37-year-old American man has been charged in a Singapore court with assaulting cabin crew and making a hoax bomb threat aboard a Singapore Airlines flight travelling from San Francisco.
Singapore police were alerted on Wednesday to an alleged bomb threat on board flight SQ33 from San Francisco to Singapore.
The man was restrained by the crew, and police subsequently arrested him for making false threats of terrorist acts and for the suspected consumption of controlled drugs.
The plane landed safely at Changi Airport at about 5.50 am, under the escort of Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16C/D fighter jets.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that during the flight, the man had allegedly shouted that there was a bomb on the plane and grabbed another passenger’s luggage from the cabin’s overhead compartment,” the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement on Thursday.
A member of the cabin crew who tried to intervene and restrain La Andy Hien Duc was allegedly assaulted, said the police.
Checks by the cabin crew did not reveal any suspicious items in the American’s luggage, Channel News Asia reported, citing police.
“Preliminary investigations by the Central Narcotics Bureau revealed that the man’s urine tested positive for controlled drugs,” police added.
The American was charged with offences read with a section of the Tokyo Convention Act 1971, which allows offenders to be charged under Singapore laws if a crime takes place on a Singapore-controlled aircraft flying outside of the country.
He was also remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation and will return to court on October 13.
If found guilty of using threatening words likely to cause alarm, he could be fined up to Singapore dollars 5,000. The offence of voluntarily causing hurt carries a penalty of up to three years jail term, a fine of up to Singapore dollars 5,000, or both.