The man who was behind the bomb scare on board a Singapore Airlines flight SQ33, has been revealed to be a 37-year-old American, La Andy Hien Duc.
He has since been charged in court on 29 September for causing alarm and voluntarily causing hurt during the now-infamous incident, where he allegedly claimed that there was a bomb onboard the aircraft.
His urine test also came back positive for controlled drugs.
SQ33 arrived from San Francisco to Changi Airport on 28 September at about 5.50am, while being escorted by RSAF fighter jets.
Andy had made a bomb threat before hitting a cabin crew member, and he was then restrained onboard the flight.
The Singapore Police said that apart from shouting that there was a bomb on the plane, Andy also grabbed the luggage of another passenger from the overhead compartment.
Cabin crew staff tried to stop the man but were allegedly assaulted by him, and the crew later found no suspicious items inside the luggage after checking.
The man was charged in Singapore under Singapore law despite the offence taking place outside of Singapore, this is because it took place on an aircraft that was controlled by Singapore, according to the Tokyo Convention Act 1971.
The police said that they will take action against those who cause public alarm with false threats:
“Beyond the fear and inconvenience caused to other members of the public, the making of false threats comes at a cost, in the extensive public resources that have to be deployed to deal with the incident.”
Singapore Police Force’s statement
A 37-year-old male foreigner has been charged for allegedly causing alarm and assaulting a cabin crew while on board flight SQ33 from San Francisco to Singapore on 28 September 2022.
The man has been charged on 29 September 2022 with an offence of using threatening words likely to cause alarm, which is punishable under Section 4(2) of the Protection from Harassment Act 2014, read with Section 3(1) of the Tokyo Convention Act 1971, and an offence of voluntarily causing hurt, which is punishable under Section 323 of the Penal Code 1871, read with Section 3(1) of the Tokyo Convention Act 1971.
The offence of using threatening words likely to cause alarm carries a fine of up to $5,000. The offence of voluntarily causing hurt carries an imprisonment term of up to three years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Under the Tokyo Convention Act 1971, if a crime takes place on a Singapore-controlled aircraft flying outside of the country, the offender can be charged with the offence under Singapore laws.
Preliminary investigations indicate that during the flight, the man had allegedly shouted that there was a bomb on the plane and grabbed another passenger’s luggage from the cabin’s overhead compartment. A member of the cabin crew was allegedly assaulted by the man when he tried to intervene and restrain the man. Checks by the cabin crew did not reveal any suspicious items in the passenger’s luggage.
The plane landed safely in Changi Airport at about 5.50am, under the escort of two of the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets. For the safety of all passengers and crew, officers from the Airport Police Division and Special Operations Command’s K-9 Unit, as well as the Singapore Armed Forces’ Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group, were mobilised to investigate the threat, which was found to be false.
As a result of the additional security measures implemented to ensure the safety of all persons on board flight SQ33, there was a delay of more than four hours in disembarkation. The 17 crew and 208 passengers disembarked at only around 9.30am.
Preliminary investigations by the Central Narcotics Bureau revealed that the man’s urine tested positive for controlled drugs.
The Police will not hesitate to take action against anyone who causes public alarm with false threats. Beyond the fear and inconvenience caused to other members of the public, the making of false threats comes at a cost, in the extensive public resources that have to be deployed to deal with the incident.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
29 September 2022 @ 10:37 PM