A 45-year-old Canberra man has been charged over allegedly claiming that he had explosives on board flight MH122 yesterday.
The passenger on board a Malaysia Airlines flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur was charged with two separate offences – threatening to damage an aircraft and an inability to comply with safety instructions.
Departing just after 1pm, the aircraft turned around over the north-west of New South Wales. The AFP said that the man started to become aggressive mid-flight.
“During the flight, a male passenger allegedly became disruptive and claimed to have explosives on board,” the AFP said.
Passengers became worried after the man acted suspiciously, reportedly letting others know that he had “a lot of power”. Another passenger recalled the events on Nine’s Today show this morning.
“He had a black bag next to him as well, so he started pointing out to that and saying ‘I’ve got a lot of power, I actually don’t care too much about the police … I’m ready to do whatever it takes for Allah’,” he said.
The AFP arrived at Sydney International Airport at 3:47pm, and were engaged in a three-hour standoff with the passenger.
The offences combined carry out a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine in excess of $15,000.
He is expected to appear at Downing Centre Local Court later today.
Photo: A Malaysia Airlines Airplane Taxiing on Runway by Md. Shaifuzzaman Ayon available HERE and used under a Creative Commons license. This image has not been modified.