Demands for release of Maafushi prisoners reportedly behind Flyme bomb threat

Demands for the release of unnamed Maafushi prisoners is reported to have been behind the Flyme passenger flight bomb threat last night.

A Flyme official speaking to Haveeru said that the bomb threat came via a note placed on a seat which was then handed to the pilot by one of the crew members on the flight.

The official also stated that the note threatened to blow up the flight and demanded the release of unspecified inmates from Maafushi jail.

On receiving the threat, the pilot immediately turned around and headed back to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. All arrivals to Malé were diverted and departures, including a Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines flight, were delayed.

The airport runway was opened after a two and a half hour closure while the flight was emptied under the supervision of Maldives National Defense Force who searched for explosive devices.

A press statement from Flyme today stated that there were ten foreigners and one Maldivian on the flight in addition to three crew members.

However, a Flyme media official speaking to Minivan News refused to comment on the details of the threat.

Exactly one year ago, on November 23 2013, a Flyme flight departing to Gaaf Dhaal Atoll Kaadehdhoo was delayed after a group threatened to hijack the plane.

Flyme is operated by Villa Air, a subsidiary of Villa Group. Tourism tycoon, Jumhooree Party Leader and MP Gasim Ibrahim is the owner of Villa Group.

Last week a Flyme flight was forced to return to Malé en route to Kadadehdhoo after a 59-year-old woman died during shortly after takeoff.

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