Pakistani Man Arrested For False Bomb Threat On Malaysia Airline Flight; Flight Had To Return To Sydney

by Shreya Shriyan
Pakistani Man Arrested For False Bomb Threat On Malaysia Airline Flight; Flight Had To Return To Sydney

Hearing there’s a bomb on the plane you’re seated in is definitely a panic-inducing situation. But, what would you do if the bomb claim was false? That was the dilemma a lot of passengers had to face when a Pakistani man claimed there was a bomb threat on board his Sydney – Kuala Lumpur flight.

Pakistani Man Arrested Over False Bomb Threat On Board Flight

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Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

On August 15, Australian police arrested a man of Pakistan origin who allegedly declared he was carrying explosives on a Malaysia Airlines flight. The flight was travelling from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur, reported NDTV. As per the report, this declaration led to the flight being compelled to return to Sydney.

On August 14, Malaysian Airlines flight MH122 departed Sydney but returned three hours later due to a passenger who allegedly became disruptive during the flight. In Australia, such offences can result in a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. It can also lead to a fine exceeding A$15,000 ($9,730), equivalent to over ₹8 lakhs in Indian currency, reported Hindustan Times.

Muhammad Arif Ali, 45, was taken into custody following the flight’s return, as reported by Pakistani media, said Hindustan Times. Ali reportedly now faces charges of making a false statement about a threat to damage an aircraft. This is according to the Australian Federal Police, reported Hindustan Times. 

As per the report, he also has a separate charge of not complying with cabin crew safety instructions. The news agency AFP quoted the Australian Federal Police regarding the charges, said Hindustan Times in their report. 

Also Read: Haryana Police Gets A Threat Call On ‘Bomb Blasts’ At Mumbai And Delhi Airports!

What Actually Happened?

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Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

As per the report, videos of the man praying on a prayer mat in the aisle of the airplane and posing the question, “Are you a slave of Allah?” have gone viral. In a statement, Sydney Airport confirmed that the incident led to the cancellation of thirty-two domestic flights. And it also caused delays of up to 90 minutes for other domestic flights, reported Hindustan Times. 

However, no cancellations were reported for international flights, stated the report. The man, named Muhammad Arif Ali in the Pakistan media report, has a background as a former Pakistani model and actor, stated Hindustan Times.

According to the report, he graduated from the National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore in 2002 and held positions as an architect in different firms in Karachi and Lahore. He also has a YouTube channel titled “Food for Thought,” where he presents brief videos primarily focusing on his religious viewpoints, reported Hindustan Times. 

Also Read: 22-YO Drunk Goa’s MOPA Airport Employee Creates Fake Bomb Scare; Arrested

It is unclear as of yet as to why the accused spread the misinformation. But, due to his single mistake, many flight operations and passengers’ schedules were deeply affected. Pranks or fake claims like this can cause unnecessary panic among travellers. 

Cover image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons (Representative Image)