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Buhay Pinay




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Elderly Pinoy in bomb joke escapes jail term

22 November 2016

By Vir B. Lumicao
The bomb joke was made aboard a Cebu Pacific plane

An elderly Filipino tourist who joked about a bomb in his bag just as a Cebu Pacific plane was about to fly out of Chek Lap Kok in October, managed to escape jail after pleading guilty in Tsuen Wan Court to misbehaving on an aircraft.
But Afri C. Cano, 66, was ordered to remain in Hong Kong since his arrest on Oct. 8 until his sentencing on Nov. 21 at Tsuen Wan court.
He admitted a charge of “communicating false information about the existence of a bomb” and was sentenced to one month in jail, suspended for one year.
His defense counsel had pleaded for a non-custodial sentence, citing Cano’s clear record, his remorse, and the urgent need for him to return home because his wife was suffering from cancer.  
Magistrate Edward Wong said Cano’s offense was serious but because of his clear record and physical condition, a suspended sentence was being imposed.
This drew a brief cheer from a handful of Cano’s supporters in the gallery and left his daughter in tears.
Cano’s trouble started after he, his wife, their two daughters and two grandchildren boarded the plane at Hong Kong International Airport for their 10:40am flight after a five-day holiday to celebrate two family events.
Soon after the family members took their seats on the plane, a flight attendant asked Cano to put his hand-carried bag in the overhead luggage compartment. But the defendant refused, saying: “There’s a bomb in my bag and that spill on the floor is gasoline.”
He later said he was kidding and apologized, but the flight attendant had already informed security, which immediately dispatched officers to arrest him.
An officer of Jardine Aviation Services who testified during the investigation said the incident had caused the flight to be delayed by one hour and 25 minutes. Flight 5J111 was able to take off only at 12:05pm.

The case was first heard by Magistrate Veronica Heung at Kowloon City Court on Oct 10, two days after the incident, but was moved to Tsuen Wan court for the trial hearing.
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