Japan arrests teenager threatening to shoot down Vietnam Airlines flight

By Minh Minh   February 17, 2022 | 01:05 am PT
Japan arrests teenager threatening to shoot down Vietnam Airlines flight
A Boeing 787 lands at Fukuoka Airport for a security check after the flight received a shooting threat, January 5, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa
A 17-year-old boy in Japan's Yamagata Prefecture has been detained for allegedly threatening to shoot down a passenger plane from Tokyo to Hanoi last month.

According to Chiba prefectural police, the boy was found after police tracked his phone number and arrested Tuesday.

They stated the boy has admitted making the phone call and that he has a mental disability, Japanese media reported.

The Vietnam Airlines flight from Tokyo to Hanoi on Jan. 5 had to turn back following a shooting threat by a person claiming to be American and speaking Japanese.

The person called the airline's office in Japan and said: "Flight VN5311 had better turn back to Narita or it would be shot down when flying over Tokyo Bay."

By the time the threat was made, the aircraft, a Boeing 787, had already passed Tokyo Bay. There were 47 passengers and 15 crew members on board.

After discussions with Japanese authorities, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) let the plane turn around and land at Fukuoka Airport for a security check.

The airport then arranged security and technical staff to review flight information and safety.

Japanese officials visited the airport and spoke to the flight crew and passengers to evaluate the situation. After finding no unusual signs and deeming it safe to proceed, the flight was allowed to leave Fukuoka for Hanoi, where it landed at 6:12 p.m.

Passengers were informed the aircraft had some "technical problems." All arrived safely in Hanoi and did not learn anything about the threat until landing.

go to top