WUHAN, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese man, who was detained for calling in a fake flight bomb threat that grounded a domestic commercial jet, said he was trying to stop a creditor from collecting his debt.
Police on Saturday arrested Xiong Yi, 29, in the southern city of Dongguan, Guangdong Province, after the man made an anonymous phone call Thursday to say that explosives would be detonated on a Shenzhen Airlines flight 45 minutes after its take-off.
The plane, bound for Shenzhen from Xiangyang, Hubei Province, was forced to make an emergency landing. Police found no dangerous items on board after inspecting the plane.
Xiong later confessed that he was the one who made the call, explaining that he was trying to stop the creditor from collecting his debt, Xiangyang police said Monday.
Xiong Yi owed the creditor, also surnamed Xiong, 240,000 yuan (38,000 U.S. dollars) and the creditor had told him about the trip.
The creditor bought a Land Rover from Xiong but later returned the car because of license problems and asked for a replacement or a refund, the police said.
Xiong said he did not realize that the false threat could cause such serious consequences and he had consumed alcohol prior to making the call.
The airport and Shenzhen Airlines said Sunday that they were calculating the financial losses caused by the incident. More than 30 vehicles and 200 people, including public security officers, firefighters, medical staff, flight managers and armed police, were mobilized in response to the so-called bomb threat.
The police said Xiong might face at least five years in jail for fabricating and spreading terrorism information that seriously disturbed public order.
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