Four passengers who were to board a flight operated by local airline operator Flyme have been detained by the Aviation Security Command (AVC) for allegedly threatening to hijack the plane.
According to local media reports, the incident occurred last Saturday evening around 7:00pm at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) while passengers were boarding Flyme’s scheduled flight from INIA to Laamu Atoll Kadhdhoo domestic airport.
A police media official confirmed to Minivan News that such a case was investigated but said that the police had not made any arrests regarding the matter.
“The Aviation Security Command did not mention the issue was of serious concern. There is no reason to detain them and investigate. So we did not arrest them,” the official told Minivan News.
Flyme is an airline operated under resort tycoon-turned-politician Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group which began its operations on October 1, 2011, with the opening of Gasim’s and the Maldives’ first private airport in Alif Dhaal atoll Maamigili Island.
The Head of Aviation Security Command Colonel Mohamed Ziyad told local newspaper Haveeru that the four passengers had given out a false threat in a bid to express their frustration over the delay in boarding the passengers to the flight.
“[Regardless of accuracy of such threats] we are obliged to take action. That is because, as per aviation regulations no passenger or any one for that matter, can make such threatening remarks. If anyone gives such an alarm, we have to take action. That person would not be allowed to board the flight and will be handed over to police,” Colonel Ziyad was quoted on Haveeru.
“We are at the moment trying to compile their statements. After that we will hand them over to police.”
However, an official from Flyme told local media outlet Sun Online that the four passengers had threatened to hijack the flight.
“While the passengers were boarding the flight, some individuals threatened the officials about hijacking the plane. So due to those threats we had to hand them over to the police,” the official told Sun Online.
He added that the incident had now been resolved although the flight had been delayed for about 45 minutes due to the incident.
Minivan News tried contacting Flyme’s media official Ahmed Shareef and Head of Aviation Security Command Colonel Mohamed Ziyad, but were not responding to calls at time of press.