A Dutch tourist is facing charges after joking about a bomb while at the departure area of Laoag International Airport (LIA) in the Philippines.
The tourist, identified by local police as Mary Evelyn Dolor Neuen, was en route to Manila International Airport (MNL) on January 3, 2023.
Neuen was having her luggage x-rayed at a security screening area of the airport when she allegedly joked to the screening officer, “There’s a bomb”.
As part of the airport’s standard procedure, the screening officer alerted the Aviation Security Group of LIA airport.
Local police told Philippine media that the security unit immediately conducted paneling and after a thorough inspection, found the luggage free of explosives.
Neuen, who is a Dutch national and holds a German passport, is still under police custody while awaiting preliminary investigation.
The Philippine Law has an ‘anti-bomb joke law’ (Presidential Decree No. 1727) which declares as the malicious dissemination of false information or the willful making of any threat concerning bombs, explosives or any similar device or means of destruction as unlawful.
Individuals who engage in bomb jokes or threats could face up to five years in prison and a PHP 40,000 ($720) fine.