SINGAPORE — A 37-year-old man who allegedly made a bomb threat on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight from San Francisco was charged in court on Thursday (29 September) with causing alarm and causing hurt.
La Andy Hien Duc, an American, had purportedly shouted that there was a bomb on the SQ33 flight, grabbed another passenger's luggage from the cabin's overhead compartment and assaulted a member of the crew who tried to restrain him, according to media reports.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the man's urine tested positive for controlled drugs.
The accused has been remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation and will return to court on 13 October.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said two Republic of Singapore Air Force F16C/D fighter jets were scrambled to escort the Airbus A350-900 plane until it landed at Changi Airport.
The Singapore Army's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group and Airport Police Division subsequently verified the threat to be false and the suspect was arrested.
Comments from Law and Home Affairs Minister
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Thursday said the accused is suspected to have been under the influence of controlled drugs.
Speaking at at a conference by the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (Sana), Shamugam said the case is but one example of the harmful consequences of drug use.
If found guilty of causing alarm, La Andy Hien Duc faces a fine of up to $5,000. The maximum punishment for causing hurt is three years' jail and a $5,000 fine.
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