Passengers are jailed for bomb jokes on Kenya Airways planes - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Passengers are jailed for bomb jokes on Kenya Airways planes

An Ethiopian man has been sentenced to four months in prison for joking about a bomb after boarding a Kenya Airways flight.

The Chifraye Bekele joke caused a flight cancellation to Johannesburg in April and a three-hour closing of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in the capital, Nairobi.

On Thursday, Judge Christine Njagi declared her guilty of "maintaining the safety of the aircraft and people aboard the ship".

According to a court ruling, forwarded to the BBC, Bekele had told the flight attendant as he closed the overhead locker: "Why are you afraid you think it's a bomb?"

The flight attendant consults with his colleagues and also informs the captain, who decides to taxi back for the plane to be sought.

All passengers must alight, resulting in flight cancellations.


Mr Bekele was taken into custody and has been in prison ever since.

In court, testifying through a translator, he said he did not make jokes because he only spoke Amharic and not English.

But the judge sentenced him to four months in prison or a 100,000,000 Shat fine.

At present he cannot pay the fine, so he is still in prison.

He is not the only wanderer who finds jokes that cross the line.


A British student almost faced 15 years in prison in the US in 2004 for joking that he was carrying a bomb. He was allowed to return home after agreeing to donate $ 1,000 (Sh100,000) to the victim's 9/11 fund and write a letter of apology.

In 2013, a man was briefly detained at JFK International Airport in New York after hearing he used the word "bomb" to a friend. It turns out he only talks about sandwiches, known as "The Bomb".

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