//Indian businessman makes hoax bomb call to delay plane

Indian businessman makes hoax bomb call to delay plane

A businessman running behind schedule triggered a bomb scare on an plane in a desperate attempt to catch his flight, Indian police said today. Vijay Khandelwal, 35, was stuck in a traffic jam on the way to New Delhi airport last week when he realised he would miss the IndiGo plane to Kolkata unless it was held up, senior police officer Satyendra Garg said.

Khandelwal was arrested after he confessed to making a hoax call on his mobile phone. “Just to delay the flight’s departure, he telephoned the call centre of the airline and announced there was a bomb in the aircraft,” Mr Garg said. Security officials at the airport were alerted, and began an major emergency operation to search passengers and luggage.

Police arrested Khandelwal by tracing his mobile number and taking a statement from his taxi driver, who had overheard him making the hoax call and refused to drop him at the airport. Authorities declared the emergency over after 90 minutes and the plane took off four hours late – without Khandelwal.

AFP, August 18, 2009