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PIA flight from Pakistan diverted to London Stansted under RAF escort

 

 

A passenger on a flight from Pakistan who was arrested after the plane was diverted to Stansted airport under RAF escort was wanted by the Metropolitan police.

The Pakistan International Airlines flight PK757 from Lahore had been heading to Heathrow before it was intercepted and escorted to the airport in Essex by Typhoon fighter jets.

Essex police said the flight was diverted because of a disruptive passenger but it was not believed to be a hijack situation or terror matter.

However, an airline spokesman said UK authorities had received some vague security threat through an anonymous phone call.

The Met said a Pakistani national on the flight had been wanted for arrest, in what it called an apparent coincidence. A 52-year-old Pakistani was arrested on suspicion of fraud on arrival. Police did not confirm whether the individual arrested on arrival at Stansted was the disruptive passenger.

It appears to be a coincidence that there was a passenger onboard who was due to be arrested in a pre-planned arrest, said a Met police spokesman. As far as we know it was not related to the divergence of the aircraft. Whether it was exacerbated by the passenger onboard who was to be arrested, we do not know.

Photos posted on Twitter showed several fire engines and a number of ambulances waiting on the ground at Stansted.

Passenger Naz Amin said the flight was quickly surrounded by police after landing. I realised it was surrounded by police and the police came on the plane about 45 minutes to an hour later and they took a gentleman off the plane,” he told LBC Radio. He wasn’t being disruptive at all, he was just sitting down … there was no-one being disruptive on the plane.

The Ministry of Defence earlier confirmed that fighter jets were scrambled from RAF Coningsby to intercept a commercial plane.

A spokeswoman for Essex police said the aircraft was diverted at about 3pm on Tuesday after reports of a disruptive passenger. The plane is currently at the airport and officers are making inquiries. There is no disruption to the ongoing operation of Stansted airport. This is not believed to be a hijack situation or terror matter, she added.

A spokesman for Stansted said: The aircraft is likely to continue its journey onwards to Heathrow today pending inquiries that the police are making into the individual on the aircraft.

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