A man of 56 is set to be taken before Larnaca District Court today in connection with the bomb hoax at both of the island’s international airports.
The suspect, who police say is a Nicosia resident and is the owner of private taxi and minibus service company, was placed under arrest at around 9pm on Tuesday night after Larnaca CID investigators traced the phone number back to his telephone using data obtained from the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA).
Police will this morning be asking to keep the Strovolos resident in remand pending further investigations.
According to the authorities, the Hermes Airports Operator call centre received a phone call from an unidentified man warning, in English with a heavy foreign accent, that a bomb was ready to go off in the airport. Police were notified around five minutes later when the centre received a second call from the same man repeating the message.
Police leadership then gave the order to evacuate around 300 passengers and staff members from Larnaca Airport into the car park while officers and sniffer dogs conducted a search for suspicious packages and activity.
Moments later it was the turn of Paphos Airport to receive a call from the same number warning that a bomb was also going to be detonated. Police officers began conducting a search of Paphos Airport as a precautionary measure but no order was given to evacuate passengers.
The alarm was called off at both airports and dismissed as a prank later yesterday morning after the search failed to reveal any threats. Bomb disposal experts were briefly called in to inspect a suspicious package found in the toilets of Larnaca Airport’s arrival lounge which turned out to be a door handle wrapped in gaffa tape.