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A navy sailor is facing disciplinary action after he was filmed intimidating airport personnel saying he had a bomb in his bag during a baggage X-ray at the Hat Yai airport in Southern Thailand.
Navy Vice-Admiral Pokkrong Manathatphalin said the navy would first conduct a fact-finding investigation into the bomb threat and then order disciplinary action against the sailor.
The Vice-Admiral said that the sailor, a chief petty officer, who caused the disturbance at Hat Yai airport intended to board a flight to Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport.
Admiral Pokkrong also said the Royal Thai Navy has also apologized to the airport staff at Hat Yai for the sailors’ misbehaviour.
A video of the incident has since gone viral on social media after it was released on Thursday. The video showed a man challenging airport staff to check his carry-on bag after it passed through an x-ray, saying it contained a bomb.
Later, the sailor said he was just checking if airport personnel would even bother to check the bag for bombs. He claimed to have been sent on a special operation.
Initially, he was warned that using the word “bomb” at the airport was forbidden. He then challenged the rule and requested a meeting with their supervisor.
When the supervisor arrived, the officer calmed down and apologized. The airport supervisor remained firm about having legal action taken against the sailor.
The sailor has been identified as chief petty officer first class, CPO1 Pairote Khaokaew. He is stationed at the Naval Communications and Information Technology Department in Bangkok, according to V/Adm Pokkrong.
As a consequence, CPO1 Pairote will spend 14 days in confinement, have his allowances cancelled and undergo disciplinary procedures for a month.
V/Adm Pokkrong added that two of his senior officers would also engage in disciplinary activities for 3-5 days.
According to the Hay Yai Airport director Mr Thananrat Prasertsri, the incident occurred at the airport on Wednesday night.
The director said Thursday that CPO1 Pairote, 41, returned to the airport to apologize to employees before boarding a flight to Bangkok.
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