A Protestant priest who hijacked a Mexican plane with 104 people aboard on a divine mission to save Mexico used three juice cans to convince crew members he had a bomb, he later told reporters.
Bible-carrying Jose Mar Flores Pereira, 44, also a singer and former drug addict, surrendered to authorities here yesterday after hijacking the Aeromexico Boeing 737 on a flight from the popular tourist resort of Cancun to Mexico City.
All the passengers -- most of whom had no idea they had been taken hostage -- were safely evacuated as security forces swarmed Mexico's international airport within minutes of the plane landing.
The airline said it was originally alerted to the situation after it "received a bomb threat while in flight," according to a statement.
"It wasn't a bomb," a smiling Flores Pereira told reporters after his arrest. "It was three Jumex (juice) cans that I filled with sand and put some little coloured lights on."
Initial media reports that the hijacking involved multiple hijackers carrying explosives were later denied by Transport Secretary Juan Francisco Molinar Horcasitas, who said no explosives were found on the plane, only a fake bomb.
While Flores Pereira acted alone, Mexican officials said they originally detained five other people because the hijacker had told a flight attendants he was acting with accomplices, referring to himself and "God and the Holy Spirit."