Pair released after ‘suspicious device’ on passenger plane found to be mobile phone

Two men have been released from police custody after a suspicious device found in the bathroom of a passenger plane was found to be a mobile phone. 

Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept the Ryanair flight from Vienna to London on Sunday after the object sparked concern.

The pair – a 34-year-old man from Kuwait and a 48-year-old man from Italy – were detained at Stansted Airport shortly after 7pm under the Terrorism Act.

They have been released without charge after officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) found neither had committed any offence.

An ERSOU spokesperson confirmed the “suspicious” object was a mobile phone.

Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie, head of ERSOU’s counter terrorism policing unit, said: “We understandably take any reports of suspicious objects or behaviour on flights very seriously and thankfully on this occasion there was no cause for concern.

“I’d like to thank those on the flight for their cooperation and understanding while officers conducted their enquiries.”

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A Typhoon taking off from RAF Coningsby in 2018. File pic
Image: A Typhoon taking off from RAF Coningsby in 2018. File pic

Ryanair said in an earlier statement: “The crew of a Ryanair flight from Vienna to London Stansted this evening (30 Aug) were alerted of a potential security threat on board.

“In line with procedures, the captain informed UK authorities and continued to London Stansted, where the aircraft landed normally and taxied to a remote stand where passengers disembarked safely.

“Passengers in London Stansted waiting to depart to Vienna were transferred to a spare aircraft to minimise the delay to their flight.”

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