Belarusian KGB: Attempt to hijack plane Kutaisi to Minsk terminated

The Belarusian law enforcement agencies are investigating an attempt to hijack an aircraft flying from Kutaisi (Georgia) to Minsk, the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) says.

The aircraft took off from Kutaisi, Georgia, at 4.20 am local time. There were 32 passengers with a child among them and four crew on board. Soon after the take-off one of the passengers handed over a note to a pilot-in command: he warned he would detonate a bomb if the plane was not diverted to a European city.

‘Thanks to the pilots’ pofessionalism, the plane landed at Minsk National Airport at 6.50 am,’ the KGB press office says.

According to the statement, officers of the KGB’s counterterrorist unit boarded the aircraft immediately to hold negotiations with the assumed hijacker, a citizen of Georgia. As a result, he agreed to leave the plane and surrendered to the officers at 8:10 a.m. The passengers and crew disembarked five minutes later. The statement does not specify which air company is the owner of the plane.

The man is to be charged with hijacking or attempting to hijack an aircraft under Article 311 of the Criminal Code.

It is to be recalled that Valery Vakulchyk, head of the Committee for State Security (KGB), told reporters on June, 5 that a threat of a terrorist attack during the May 9-25 Ice Hockey World Championship had been received from Poland but the caller had been found within 24 hours.

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