• France's news in English

Retired cop held over Air France fake toilet bomb

The Local · 21 Dec 2015, 10:55

Published: 21 Dec 2015 10:55 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

French police on Monday detained a couple who were passengers on an Air France flight which was forced to make an emergency landing after a fake bomb was found on board, a police source said.

The couple were taken into custody by border police on their return to France, a day after their flight from Mauritius to Paris was forced to make an emergency landing in Kenya.

Numerous reports in France say one of the arrested pair "has presented himself as a retired policeman".

He is said to be a 58-year-old man who lives on the island of Reunion. His wife is thought to be the other passenger arrested and she is being questioned as a witness.

France national carrier also said on Monday it had taken legal action after the discovery of the fake bomb.

The airline "filed a legal complaint against unknown persons for endangering the life of others," a company spokesman said.

A passenger alerted crew members to the item found inside a toilet cubicle on Sunday on board a Boeing 777, which was carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew members from Mauritius to Paris.

(Passengers from the flight that had to make an emergency landing in Kenya. Photo: AFP)

The object, made up of cardboard, paper and a kitchen timer, was found to pose no danger to the aircraft or its passengers, Air France chief executive Frederic Gagey said on Sunday.

He said the "deduction" was that the item had been placed in a toilet cupboard by one of the passengers and said the bomb scare appeared to be the result of a "bad joke".

Story continues below…

France is on high alert after jihadist attacks in Paris in November left 130 people dead, and is one of many countries taking extra security precautions.

Airlines are especially jittery after Islamic State jihadists, who claimed the Paris attacks, also said they were responsible for downing a Russian jet in Egypt in October after smuggling a bomb onto the plane, killing all 224 people on board.

Gagey said there had been three bomb scares on Air France planes in the United States in the past 15 days.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available