Man charged after telling cruise operator its ship would explode if it did not return his money , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Man charged after telling cruise operator its ship would explode if it did not return his money

A 39-year-old man was charged on Saturday with making a threat about a bomb on a cruise ship.

At about 2.30pm on Friday, Neo Hui Ghim allegedly sent an e-mail with the header “Bomb at Resorts World Cruises” to Resorts World Cruises’ customer service department.

According to court documents, Neo wrote to the cruise operator, saying, “please return me back my monies else the ship will explode and everyone dropped into the sea”.

He was arrested on Friday for his alleged involvement in a case of communicating false information of a harmful thing, the police said in a statement on Saturday.

The police said that at 4.03pm on Friday, they were alerted by a cruise operator to an alleged bomb threat on board a cruise ship berthed at Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

In response to the threat, the police, together with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and security officers from the cruise centre, conducted extensive checks on the ship. No threat items were found on board the vessel.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from the Central Police Division established the identity of the suspect and arrested the man within three hours of the reported bomb threat.

Neo has been remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for medical examination.

If found guilty, he can be jailed for up to seven years, fined up to $50,000, or both.

As a result of the additional security checks on the cruise ship, operations were halted. This led to a two-hour delay to the boarding process, affecting about 4,000 passengers.

“The police treat all security threats seriously and will not hesitate to take action against anyone who causes public alarm with false threats,” said the police.

“Beyond the fear and inconvenience caused to other members of the public, the making of false threats comes at a cost of public resources that have to be deployed to deal with the incident.”

In January 2016, a hoax threat to bomb City Hall, posted on a social media website, triggered 95 per cent of the Public Transport Security Command’s manpower to be diverted to respond to the threat. The perpetrator was sentenced to 18 months’ jail for claiming he was going to bomb a national icon in the heart of the city.