Hoax bomb threat caller sentenced in Sydney

A Newcastle man has today been jailed for making a hoax bomb threat against a flight from Mumbai to Singapore in 2019.

The man was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of one year in the Downing Centre Local Court today (Friday 5 February, 2021), after pleading guilty to using a carriage service for hoax threat, contrary to section 474.16 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

On 26 March 2019, the now 40-year-old man placed a call to Mumbai International Airport from his home, and claimed a bomb was on board. A relative of the man 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.

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 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, the airport.  It also jeopardises the safety of members of the public, airport workers and the authorities who need to investigate the incident thoroughly,” Superintendent Parsons said.

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