An apparent misunderstanding over a query regarding the status of a Mumbai-Delhi flight led to the arrest of a flyer, who has been booked for a hoax bomb call, police said on January 2. The flyer later claimed he wanted to know the status of a ‘Bom-Del’ flight but was misunderstood by the telephone operator at the other end as him having said “bomb hai (there is a bomb)”.
Vinod Moorjani, the 45-year-old Indian-origin CEO of a US-based company, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly making a hoax bomb call at the Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) after apparently being miffed over flight delays, an official said.
Moorjani was scheduled to travel from Mumbai to Delhi and take a connecting flight to Rome en route to Virginia along with his wife and children, the official said. Annoyed with the flight delays, Moorjani called a toll free number of MIAL and told the woman operator that a bomb exploded (‘bomb fata hai’) in flight, the official claimed.
Before the operator could hear more from Moorjani, he hung up the call, after which the operator alerted her seniors, who informed the police, the official said.
The Sahar police arrested Moorjani, who was spotted at a telephone booth in the CCTV footage of the airport, the official said. Moorjani made the call to disrupt the Delhi flight schedules so that he could get a late night flight to Rome from the New Delhi airport if his travel from Mumbai got delayed, he said.
He was arrested and booked under IPC sections 506(II) (criminal intimidation), 505(I)(b) (intent to cause fear or alarm to public), the official said. Moorjani was produced in the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate Court on January 1, which granted him bail on a sum of Rs 15,000 and a surety of the same amount.
Court officials said when Moorjani was produced in the court, his lawyer argued that the accused had only enquired about the status of his flight which was misconstrued. According to the lawyer, Moorjani had asked the operator for ‘Bom-Del status’ and disconnected the call soon due to some disturbance in the telephone line. This, was misunderstood by the telephone operator as “bomb hai (there is a bomb)”, the lawyer said.