Man faces charges for threatening flight safety

Mombasa, Kenya:A man was yesterday arrested at Moi International Airport (MIA) for issuing a terrorist threat aboard a Kenya Airways flight which was preparing to fly to Nairobi.

Shafi Abdallahi Dirie threatened to blow up the Jambo Jet KQ 8603 that was ready for takeoff from MIA with passengers on board, according to police who hauled him before the court minutes after the incident.

His actions delayed the flight when all passengers were ordered to leave the plane for a fresh security check.

Shafi was charged with causing a disturbance and unlawfully imperiling the safety of the aircraft and passengers by behaving disorderly and threatening that he would explode the craft.

Police have not explained what triggered Shafi’s behaviour but allege he fought with cabin crew when they tried to remove him from the plane.

At about 10.50 in the morning, police said Shafi boarded the plane that was bound for Nairobi and while aboard, threatened to blow up the plane.

According to airport Criminal Investigations Department Officer Naibai Stephen, the accused was later arrested by airport police before takeoff after the cabin crew alerted the security officer.

Fresh check-up

Mr Naibai said passengers were forced to alight from the plane because of the panic caused.

“The plane had to delay for some time as the passengers had to disembark and undergo a fresh security check,” said Mr Naibai.

The CID officer said that Shafi seems to suffer mental problems.

However, Shafi, who seemed not to care one iota about the scene he had created pleaded not guilty to the charges before Justice Irene Ruguru.

He was released on a Sh550, 000 bond with the same surety and is set to appear on May 6.

His lawyer, Gikandi Ngaibuni pleaded with the court to grant him a reasonable bail term including cash bail.

According to the charge sheet, the accused willfully and unlawfully imperiled the safety of the aircraft and persons on board by behaving with disorderly conduct and threatening to explode the aircraft.