A man who was running late for a flight to visit his fiance was sentenced to more than a year in prison for calling in a bomb threat to delay the plane and buy himself more time, according to The Guardian.
Rashidul Islam was on his way to catch a flight from Gatwick airport in London to Marrakech, Morocco, in May 2019. He took a cab, but soon realized that he was stuck in traffic and was probably not going to make his 5:40 p.m. flight.
He knew he could not afford to buy another plane ticket to Morocco—so he had to make this flight. In a panic, he called 999 (the U.K. equivalent of 911).
"EasyJet flight 8897 leaves in 40 minutes," Islam told the dispatcher. "There may be a bomb on the plane, you need to delay it, you need to stop it now."
Islam did indeed succeed in delaying the flight. Airline officials evacuated the plane and held all passengers by the gate. That gave Islam time to check in and arrive at the terminal.
However, it was not difficult for authorities to determine that the cell phone number that called in the bomb threat was Islam's, and he was arrested at the airport. Islam readily admitted to the crime, and to the reasons why he did it.
The plane did take off, three hours after its scheduled departure—but Islam was not on it. Now, in addition to being sentenced to 16 months in prison, Islam is permanently banned from Gatwick airport.
"Making a false report of a bomb on a plane not only causes significant costs and delays to the airport and its passengers, it also strikes fear into the community," Sussex Police Detective Constable Stephen Trott said. "We treat all reports of this nature extremely seriously, and anyone caught committing such an offense will be dealt with robustly."
That's not the end of Islam's issues, either. He was sentenced to 42 additional months in prison for money laundering crimes.
(H/T The Daily Caller)