Passenger faces 120000 in fines after fighter jets into controversy

Passenger faces $120,000 in fines after fighter jets into controversy over bomb joke – Business Insider

Down Angle Symbol A symbol in the form of an angle pointing downwards. Spanish F-18 fighter jet escorts Easyjet plane after teen bomb hoax Marcus Torr via Portal

  • Aditya Verma traveled to Spain on vacation with friends on an easyJet flight in July 2022.
  • According to the BBC, he sent a Snapchat: “On the way to blow up the plane (I'm a member of the Taliban).”
  • He is currently facing misdemeanor charges in Spain after the country's air force shot down planes.

A plane passenger who caused the Spanish Air Force to fire fighter jets after he joked about blowing up the plane he was on appeared in court on Monday, the BBC reported.

Aditya Verma was 18 when he and his friends traveled with easyJet from London Gatwick Airport to the Spanish island of Menorca in July 2022.

The BBC reports that before he left, he told a friend on Snapchat: “On the way to blow up the plane (I'm a member of the Taliban).”

Security services saw the message and reported it to Spanish authorities, who sent two F-18 jets to track the plane until it landed, according to the BBC.

“The intent was never to cause public distress or cause public harm,” Verma told the court.

He faces a misdemeanor charge that, if found guilty, could result in him being ordered to pay more than $120,000.

Around $103,000 of this comes from the Spanish Ministry of Defense for the costs of disarming the fighter jets.

According to the Telegraph, Verma told the court that he initially thought the jets were flanking the aircraft as part of a military exercise related to the Russia-Ukraine war.

Verma's lawyer told the court it was a “bad joke”, but stressed that it was a joke he made privately with friends.

“Aditya did not post or promote his message on Facebook. What he did was like making a joke with friends in a car,” she said, according to the Telegraph.

“This boy was 18 years old and was on vacation, which was a reward for his academic achievements. When he and his friends arrived in Menorca, they realized they were in a nightmare.”