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Nollywood Actor Arrested For Raising False Ebola Alarm On Airplane

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A man, said to be a Nigerian actor, Chris Bassey has been apprehended after he distress call disrupted an Arik Air flight from Enugu to Lagos after he claimed that a female passenger who was on the flight was infected with the Ebola Virus.

On arrival at the Lagos airport the said female passenger tested negative to the virus, prompting Mr. Bassey’s arrest, and he will be charged to court on Monday, September 15, 2014 for disrupting the operations of the airline.

According to Thisday  newspaper, at about 1:05 pm on Friday, August 29, 2014, a man from Enugu called Arik Air customer call center, alerting them that his girlfriend who has been in quarantine, had escaped and was on board the flight W3 611 from Enugu to Lagos.

An official said: “Immediately the flight landed at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Ikeja, Lagos, Arik Air’s ground staff who had been placed on alert approached the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) medical personnel, but the FAAN officials at GAT said they didn’t have the requisite equipment to screen passengers for the Ebola virus symptoms. The aircraft was therefore taxied to the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport. There, the Port Heath officials supervised the disembarking of the passengers and therefore directed the female passenger to be transferred to the clinic for checks. The lady was later discovered to be free of Ebola symptoms after thorough examination. She then told Arik Air personnel that her boyfriend who made the malicious call from Enugu did that to smear her name because they had a misunderstanding. She further disclosed that she reported the boyfriend to the Police in Enugu on August  28.”

Investigations show that Bassey was arrested in Enugu, with a senior official likening it to hoax bomb calls made by terrorists to disrupt flights

“We are on that case. A man reported that a female passenger had Ebola because he didn’t want to her to travel. We have taken it to the police. This is not good for us because it frightens the passengers. It is the same thing they do with bomb threats which force airlines to evacuate passengers. We lose passengers because it makes people to become afraid to travel,” the official said.

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