LIAT Pas­sen­ger Fined for Bomb Threat

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

AGuade­loupe man is back at home hav­ing been con­victed in An­tigua for mak­ing a bomb threat.

Fran­cois Zavier Re­naud Bois­neuf, 35, was on Mon­day or­dered to pay $4,000 forth­with hav­ing pleaded guilty to one of two charges laid against him in con­nec­tion with the threat he made on a LIAT flight, at the VC Bird In­ter­na­tional Air­port, on Au­gust 4. The pros­e­cu­tion with­drew a charge of dis­or­derly con­duct.

The French­man, who was en route to his home­land from Bar­ba­dos’ Crop Over, used the words “bomb” and “ter­ror­ist” when re­peat­edly asked by a LIAT flight at­ten­dant for his board­ing pass. The flight had made a stop in An­tigua.

Bois­neuf was re­moved from the flight af­ter the re­mark that he had come to blow up the plane.

The threat re­sulted in the bomb squad be­ing called in. Lug­gage had to be rechecked and the flight left the tar­mac be­hind sched­ule.

Just be­fore hand­ing down the de­ci­sion in the St John’s Mag­is­trates’ Court, Mag­is­trate Con­liffe Clarke told the French na­tional that given his ed­u­ca­tion, work and fam­ily back­ground he should have known bet­ter than to let idle words and loose talk land him be­fore the court.

The Guade­lou­pian paid the fine to avoid a six-month jail time.

Mean­while, the air­line’s act­ing CEO Julie Reifer-Jones is urg­ing pas­sen­gers to be re­spon­si­ble, as dis­rup­tions on­board flights or even at air­lines can be viewed as threats to se­cu­rity.

“We ad­vise all pas­sen­gers to fol­low the in­struc­tions from the flight crew, and not to en­gage in dis­rup­tive be­hav­iour,” Reifer-Jones said. “If a pas­sen­ger is dis­rup­tive we do have pro­ce­dures to re­move the pas­sen­ger from the flight, and that was done on this oc­ca­sion. Of course, we would al­ways co-op­er­ate with the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in any in­ves­ti­ga­tion they are car­ry­ing out,” she added.

Air­line and air­port staff do not take kindly to jokes about bombs.

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