In a bid to board his flight from Bengaluru on Monday evening, a techie after being late, made a hoax call claiming that there was a bomb on the Surat-bound Air India flight. However, based on CCTV footage, 49-year-old Prateek Rathore Mahesh Bhai is now in police custody.
Soon after his call, airline staff and CISF staff maintaining security at the airport declared the flight safe after sanitising the flight before he could get on the flight.
The Times of India reported that Surat-based Prateek had come to the city for a wedding and was planning to board a 7pm flight along with his wife and child.
Airline staff and CISF personnel reportedly suspected that at 6:57pm, when the airport authorities got the threat call, he had stepped out of the terminal building. The CCTV footage confirmed their suspicion, reports said.
Soon, police was informed and Prateek was arrested. He reportedly admitted that the hoax call was his bid to board the flight after being late.
A similar fate was faced by a couple in February 2017, who faced arrest after they made a hoax call after being late to the airport.
Incidentally, police in August 2018 had arrested one man for allegedly making three hoax calls to the airport in the same week. The accused Aditya Rao, who is a 35-year-old MBA graduate, had also made a bomb hoax call to the Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (KSR) railway station.
According to police, he was using two SIM cards to make the calls and would switch off his phone as soon as he hung up. He was tracked by narrowing down his location going by the location of the two SIM cards.
The series of phone calls had begun on August 20, when a call was received by the Nodal Manager at KIA informing him that a bomb was placed in the lobby of the airport. Just two days later, the same officer was called claiming a bomb was placed in the luggage of Air Asia India flights heading to either Kolkata or Thiruvananthapuram. And the third one was made on August 27 when he claimed that the security of Air Asia flights i5 1426 from Bengaluru to Pune and i5 1516 from Bengaluru to Hyderabad were compromised.