Man who made bomb threat on SIA flight to S'pore to get stern warning

He will reappear in court on Nov. 4, where he will plead guilty to slapping a male cabin crew on his cheeks.

Fiona Tan | October 27, 2022, 08:37 PM

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The American man who made a bomb threat while aboard a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight from San Francisco to Singapore will be given a stern warning.

Background of what happened

The 37-year-old American, La Andy Hien Duc, departed San Francisco for Singapore on Sep. 26, or Sep. 27 Singapore time.

The flight was six hours away from arriving in Singapore when Hien Duc allegedly claimed there was a bomb in a hand-carry bag.

He proceeded to try and grab another passenger’s luggage from the cabin’s overhead compartment.

A male cabin crew who stepped in and tried to restrain Hien Duc was allegedly slapped on the cheeks.

via @veratheape/Twitter

Cabin crew checked the passenger's bag, but found nothing suspicious.

The Singapore Police Force were alerted to the alleged bomb threat and fighter jets from the Republic of Singapore Air Force had to scramble to escort the plane back to Changi Airport.

via @veratheape/Twitter

Units 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 Ministry of Defence subsequently said on Facebook that Hien Duc's threat was false.

He was arrested on Sep. 28, and has been on remand since.

To be given stern warning

Hien Duc faced a charge for the offence of using threatening words likely to cause alarm, for making the false bomb threat.

He appeared in court via video link on Oct. 27, according to CNA.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min said the prosecution has reviewed a report from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and intends to issue him a stern warning.

ST quoted Lim's written submissions saying that an IMH psychiatrist had assessed Hien Duc to pose a danger to the public.

Additionally, he faced additional stress from being in a foreign country – Singapore – where he had no fixed place to stay and no one to ensure that he was taking his medications.

These were all factors that could risk a relapse.

Johannes Hadi, Hien Duc's lawyer, from Eugene Thuraisingam LLP told The Straits Times (ST) and CNA that his client has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

To plead guilty to other charge

Hien Duc is facing another charge of voluntarily causing hurt for allegedly slapping the male cabin crew, according to court documents.

CNA wrote that he will return to court to plead guilty on Nov. 4, 2022.

If convicted of voluntarily causing hurt, he could face up to three years jail, fined up to S$5,000, or both.

He could have been fined up to S$5,000 for using threatening words likely to cause alarm.

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Top photos via @veratheape/Twitter