BEIJING – Police in southern China detained a man early Thursday who is suspected of calling in fake bomb threats that grounded five domestic flights the previous day.
The man was detained at a rental home in the city of Dongguan, police in the southern hub of Shenzhen said in an online statement.
Police gave no word on a possible motive. They identified the suspect by his surname, Wang, and said he is 26, unemployed and from the autonomous northern territory of Inner Mongolia.
He is accused of making threats Wednesday against five flights headed to Shenzhen and Xi'an from other cities, including Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai. The flights were operated by Shenzhen Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Juneyao Airlines.
The crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Last year, a man in Dongguan who made a fake bomb threat to delay the arrival of his creditor received a four-year sentence.
China has undergone a massive expansion in air travel in recent years. Delays, poor airline service and unruly passengers lead to frequent disruptions at airports or aboard flights.