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Passenger Faces 8 Years In Prison For Joking About Terrorism On Flight

By Sharelle Burt

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It’s amazing that in 2018, people still don’t know the rules of flying, especially when it comes to joking around. The rule is you just don’t do it.

Jet Airways passenger Yogvedant Poddar thought it was cute to take a SnapChat picture with a caption saying, “Terrorist on flight, I destroy women’s hearts.” Another passenger caught a glimpse of the picture and alerted the crew. The 21-year-old was taken into custody. His timing was off because pilots were already on high alert as it was the ten-year anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, an attack that killed over 160 people and injured hundreds.

“The pilot reported the matter to the ATC,” an airport official said. The plane was stopped immediately and turned around at Indira Gandhi International Airport, with the foolish prank delaying the flight for an hour and a half. Covering half of his face with a handkerchief, Poddar was boarding the Jet Airways flight from Kolkata to Mumbai for a job interview. Poddar was arrested because of “mischievous activity on board,” and Airports Authority of India said his use of language “was inferred as a security threat.”

Making false claims of bombs, terrorism or any type of violence is a federal crime in countries worldwide and taken very seriously. Making a false bomb threat can get you a maximum fine of $5,000 and five years in prison. In May, at least ten passengers were injured with broken bones and head wounds after a man claimed there was a bomb on board a flight in Indonesia. Another passenger overheard Frantinus Nirigi tell a flight attendant there was a bomb on the Lion Air Boeing 737.

After the commotion and inspection, no explosives were found on the plane. Nirigi faces up to eight years in prison. Over the summer, a man called in a bomb threat to Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport so he wouldn’t miss his flight. He was later sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay a fine.

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Sharelle Burt

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