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China arrests man over fake plane bomb threats

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May 18, 2013 02:11 AM EST | AP

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BEIJING — A man has been arrested for allegedly making fake bomb threats against several domestic flights bound for Shanghai, Chinese officials said Saturday.

It was the second time in a week that Chinese flights were grounded because of fake bomb threats. Another man was arrested Thursday for allegedly making such calls the previous day.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC, said a 43-year-old man surnamed Ji and from the eastern city of Yancheng was arrested on suspicion of making prank calls Friday afternoon and spreading fake terror information relating to several Shanghai-bound flights departing from the cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen. It did not say what might have motivated the man to act.

The official Xinhua News Agency said a bomb threat delayed all outbound flights at the Chongqing airport and forced inbound flights to return Friday evening.

Yancheng police confirmed the arrest but declined to provide further details.

CAAC said the crime of spreading fake terror information is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Last year, a man in the southern city of Dongguan who made a fake bomb threat to delay the arrival of his creditor received a four-year jail sentence.