Peruvian Arrested With Phony Gun Aboard Soviet Jet
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ A Peruvian carrying a phony pistol was arrested aboard a Soviet jumbo jet after the crew discovered he didn’t have a ticket for the flight, authorities said Thursday.
Eduardo Tacanga, 24, was apprehended without incident before the jet took off Wednesday and he was being held by Peru security officials, police told The Associated Press.
Aeroflot Flight 345, an Ilyushin 86 jetliner carrying 245 passengers, was delayed about four hours past its scheduled noon departure time after Tacanga was arrested. The jet left at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday for Moscow, the airport said.
The case is under investigation and police on Thursday refused to discuss what charges Tacanga faces or if he had planned to hijack the jet. Newspapers reported that arresting officers said it was the first case of attempted air piracy at Lima’s Jorge Chavez airport.
Police said Tacanga carried a pistol that could only fire blanks but made no apparent attempt to brandish it.
Tacanga did not have a ticket and police are investigating how he managed to slip past airline personnel and security checks and board the jetliner.
The newspapers Expreso and La Republica said the Aeroflot flight crew found it had one more passenger aboard than it had tickets and noticed Tacanga going into the plane’s bathroom, apparently to escape detection.
The flight crew informed airport security guards, who seized Tacanga. Police said he was taken into custody quietly.