Police in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad arrested 32-year-old Motaparthi Vamshi Krishna on Thursday for allegedly sending a hoax email about an aircraft hijack plot.
According to a statement by Hyderabad police, in the email, which was sent to Mumbai police on Saturday, Krishna claimed to be a woman who had overheard six men plotting to hijack planes in the cities of Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai the next day.
Mumbai police then alerted the security agencies, resulting in beefed up security at the concerned airports.
Investigators traced the IP address to an internet cafe called E Netzone in Hyderabad and were able to narrow down the email to eight people.
After examining CCTV footage from the area, police zeroed in on Krishna.
Here's the email
Police said Krishna confessed during questioning. He told them he had an online girlfriend in Chennai who wanted to take their relationship to the next level and had proposed a trip to Mumbai and Goa.
The problem was, he didn't have enough money, and despite mentioning this to her, she really wanted to go.
So, Krishna, a travel agent, came up with a plan. He created a fake ticket from Chennai to Mumbai for his girlfriend.
After sending her the ticket, he created a fake email address and sent the hoax email to the police.
"hi sir am female here am doing this mail frim Hyderabad as i don't want to revel my details couse am a female and scared of issues, and mailing u this couse in the after noon around 2pm while having lunch there were 6 guys talking those guys are musclims, they were talking abt plane hijack tommarrow in Hyderabad chennai and Mumbai airport they were talking very slowly but unfortunately i heard few conversations abt this, they were saying all us 23 people have to split from here and have to board flights in 3 cities and hijack them at a time. They spoke some other things also but i couls not hear them as i heard only these few sentences from them, i dont know do am i doing correct or not and they are true or not but heard this so kindly go through this and as i informed this as a duty and a citizen of india and pls dont make me to get into issues."
Speaking at a press conference, B. Limba Reddy, Deputy Commissioner of Police at the Commissioner's Task Force in Hyderabad, who led the investigation, said, "He didn't have the money, but if he canceled because of that, it would have hurt his pride, and his friendship with the girl would've come to an end. So, his thinking was that if the flight was to be canceled and it was because of the airport, he wouldn't be at fault."
Krishna has been arrested on four charges, including impersonation and providing false information.
The charges could result in five years in prison and a fine of $150.