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Russian charged for Singapore Airlines ‘blast’ threat

A Russian passenger was charged in court Monday after allegedly threatening to “blast” the Singapore-bound plane he was on if he was not served water.

Vlada Vitaly, 26, was on board a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight from Moscow to Singapore last Tuesday when he asked a flight steward for water and then told him: “You better get back to me. If not I will blast this aircraft”, according to court documents seen by AFP.

He faces one charge of committing an act of “criminal intimidation”, the documents said. The offence is punishable by up to two years in jail.

The Straits Times said Vitaly told the court that after requesting water, he had turned to his friend seated next to him to say in Russian that he might vomit if he did not get water to drink.

Vitaly said this had caused a misunderstanding, as the Russian word for “vomit” sounds like “blow up” in English, according to the Straits Times.

His case will be heard again on Wednesday, where he will request to leave the city-state before returning for the trial in June, the paper said.

This is the second bomb threat involving SIA in the past week.

On Saturday, an SIA plane carrying 280 passengers from Manila was inspected by police due to what the carrier called a “potential security incident”.

Police said no arrests were made and declined to give any specifics in that case, but sources familiar with the incident told AFP it was a bomb hoax.