A man from Newcastle in NSW was yesterday (Friday) jailed for making a hoax bomb threat against an airline flight from Mumbai to Singapore in 2019.
The convicted man, identified as Sanjay Kalubjai Korat, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of one year in the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney.
He pleaded guilty to using a carriage service for hoax threat, contrary to the Criminal Code Act of 1995.
Man placed hoax call to Mumbai International Airport
On 26 March in 2019, the now 40-year-old Korat placed a call to Mumbai International Airport from his home in Newcastle and claimed a bomb was on board an aircraft. A relative of his was on the flight at the time.
“Although ultimately deemed a hoax, this potential threat caused significant disruption and delays to several airlines in Singapore. The Republic of Singapore Air Force was also deployed to respond to the incident,” the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement.
“Extensive liaison between Singaporean authorities and the AFP resulted in the source of the call being traced to the Newcastle man. He was later arrested at Sydney International Airport and charged.”
AFP provides an immediate response to such incidents
AFP Sydney Airport Police Commander, Superintendent Matt Parsons, said any threat to an airline or within the airport precinct is dealt with swiftly. The AFP provides an immediate response to these types of incidents including investigating and apprehending offenders.
“These matters are not taken lightly. Hoax threats cause a substantial loss of resources and time for the airline [and] the airport. It also jeopardises the safety of members of the public, airport workers and the authorities who need to investigate the incident thoroughly,” Parsons said.
The reason for Korat making the hoax call has not been disclosed.
Hoax bomb threats are an international aviation problem
Hoax bomb threats against airlines are a problem for commercial aviation and law enforcement agencies around the world.
Last year a man was jailed for 16 months in the UK for making a threat against an EasyJet flight to Marrakesh in Morocco from Gatwick Airport in London.
He told the court he wanted to delay the flight’s departure because was running late for flight and could not afford to buy another ticket.