Man, 28, gets S$2,000 fine for joking about explosives in his luggage at Changi Airport

He was prevented from boarding the plane and had to stay in Singapore for further investigations.

Fiona Tan | January 26, 2023, 06:10 PM

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A 28-year-old man was fined S$2,000 after he joked about having explosives in his luggage at Changi Airport.

Claimed he had explosives in luggage

Court documents stated that Omar Abdulrehman Aziz, a Tanzanian national, was departing for Bangkok, Thailand from Changi Airport Terminal 1 (T1) on Jan. 6, 2023 when the incident happened.

He was checking in at counter six at T1's departure hall with his friend when an airport staff asked him if he had any prohibited items in his check-in luggage, Chinese media Lianhe Zaobao reported.

Omar said no, before adding that he had an RDX, which stands for Research Department Explosive, in his check-in luggage.

The airport staff asked Omar what he meant and he replied and said "nuclear weapon".

Another airport staff who overheard the conversation told Omar that he should not have uttered those words to an airport staff.

Police alerted

He and his friend's bags were thoroughly searched, and the pair were not allowed to board their plane bound for Bangkok.

The airport police were also alerted to the incident, Lianhe Zaobao reported.

Omar was later charged under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) for the offence of using threatening words that were likely to cause alarm, where he would face a fine not exceeding S$5,000, if convicted.

The police commenced investigations into the matter and Omar's friend was allowed to leave Singapore after completing preliminary investigations.

Omar, on the other hand, was ordered to stay in the country for further investigations.

Fined S$2,000

He appeared in court on Jan. 25, 2023, and pleaded guilty to his offence.

He claimed that he was only making a joke at that time and added that he apologised to the Changi Airport staff afterwards.

Under the impression that an apology would suffice, Omar said he only realised the gravity of the situation when he and his friend was rejected from boarding the plane.

During police investigations, an officer explained the situation to Omar and helped him realise his mistake.

Admitting that he had messed up and adding that this was his first offence, Omar asked the judge to hand out the lowest fine amount.

He was ultimately fined S$2,000.

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Top image screenshot from OnederlustLife/YouTube