Just how serious are bomb jokes at airports?
HAVE you ever been tempted to see what would happen if you yelled “bomb” in an airport?
If you haven’t, just don’t. Because it will land you in serious trouble.
The weird phenomena of calling in hoax emergencies isn’t a new thing. Pranksters have been calling for unneeded fire engines, police personnel and sadly, ambulance services too since telephones were invented.
Unfortunately, these incidents waste time, money and precious resources. They can lead to others dying through not receiving the urgent attention they need. And bomb hoaxes in airports are no different.
Bomb scares at airports lead to flight delays, mass evacuations, substantial special forces expenditure and instill huge amounts of fear in fellow passengers.
Whether said in jest or maliciously, the trickster could face major consequences.
Each nation has its laws on bomb hoaxes, but it is widely known to be a criminal offense.
Hoaxers can face up to a year in prison and a hefty fine.
The Act of Violence author Steve Albrecht said, “the majority of police calls related to bombs are false alarms, made by drunks, the mentally ill, revenge-seeking ex-employees, or the kid who doesn’t want to take his third-period French exam.”
Often, the reason bombings happen is because terrorists don’t first warn authorities of their intended actions.
The hoaxes are often a cry for attention, for revenge or just to get out of doing an exam. And for these foolish few, the harsh penalties don’t seem to deter them.
Here are some of the most back-firing bomb hoax pranks pulled in airports.
Even an utterance will get you in trouble
Most recently, a Lion Air passenger boarding a flight at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the Indonesian province of Tangerang reportedly uttered the word “bomb” to a flight attendant.
All 148 passengers and their luggage were taken off the plane while it was thoroughly searched.
The man in question was arrested, and his traveling partner was also removed from the plane.
Teaching someone a lesson
A poorly performing employee of Indian airline company Indigo wanted to “teach his employers a lesson.” So, naturally, he called in a bomb threat.
Kartik Madhav Bhat, 23, had recently been given a warning for his bad work ethic.
In revenge, he called in the Indigo Airline Office at Indira Gandhi International Airport on May 2 and falsely warned of a bomb on board a Mumbai-bound flight.
He was identified through the number he called and according to The Economic Times of India, admitted to police it was ‘unfair” on passengers.
Love is a losing game
Back in 2016, a French woman rang Geneva airport in Switzerland to declare a passenger was carrying a bomb.
The reason? She didn’t want her husband’s mistress getting away.
The wife and mother of four called the airport on July 26 to notify them of a bomb being carried through the airport on July 27 – the day her husband’s mistress was flying out.
The hoax cost taxpayers thousands of euros and delayed flights. She was sentenced to six months in jail for her crime, but only served three.
The green-eyed monster
2016 seemed to be the year of the lovesick. Danesh Gomanie, a 33-year-old mechanic at an aviation company located at JFK airport in the US, called in a bomb hoax to emergency service.
He wanted to prevent his girlfriend from traveling to Guyana.
The motive? He thought she might connect with her ex-husband who lives there.
He reportedly told authorities she would be carrying a bomb and drugs, a risk combination indeed.
Gomanie faced a US$20,000 fine for his reckless actions.
So, if you’re thinking of having a “joke” with a bomb hoax, just don’t.