A 32-year-old man was arrested near Hyderabad on Thursday for a hoax email about a possible hijack of flights four days ago, apparently cooking up the story to dodge his girlfriend’s demand for a holiday in Mumbai and Goa.
Police said Motaparthi Vamsi Krishna, a commerce graduate who works as a travel agent, was picked up from his home at Miyapur on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The man is originally from Denduluru village in West Godavari district.
“Investigations revealed that Vamsi had sent the email to Mumbai police from a fake account in the name of a woman, raising a false alarm with an intention to delay flights in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai airports,” Hyderabad deputy commissioner of police (Task Force) B Limba Reddy said.
Vamsi is married and has two children. But he was having an extramarital affair with a girl in Chennai, police said.
“He was to trying to avoid his girlfriend who was pestering him to take her to Mumbai and Goa for a holiday,” officer Reddy said.
Vamsi was facing financial problems and, hence, hatched a plot.
He created a fake flight booking on her name on April 16 from Chennai to Mumbai, and sent the air ticket a day before.
Since he would be exposed if she tried to board the flight with the fake ticket, Vamsi went to an internet centre at Madhuranagar on April 15 and sent a mail to Mumbai police through a fake email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
He wrote that he overheard six unidentified youths discussing at a restaurant in Hyderabad over lunch about their plan to hijack three flights in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai.
He said the youth were planning to depute 23 hijackers in separate groups from Hyderabad and board three flights in the three cities.
Police forwarded the email to Mumbai Airport Security Group to go on high alert.
Airport authorities, immigration and Mumbai police held a meeting after getting the mail. Security was beefed up at Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai airports.
The CISF, which guards 59 airports in the country, set up additional security measures and alerted its officials to be extra vigilant in and around terminals at Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad airports.
In the meantime, Mumbai police traced the source of the email to Hyderabad and alerted city police commissioner M Mahender Reddy.
A Hyderabad police task force team headed by Limba Reddy cracked the case and arrested Vamsi.
(Note: This story has been updated to rectify an earlier version which said the man hatched the plot to meet his girlfriend.)