Not funny: Doctor's bomb joke at airport costs him US$90,000

A doctor thought it was funny to crack a joke about having a bomb in his luggage.

That innocent joke resulted in the evacuation of Miami International airport, and earned the doctor an almost US$90,000 (S$117,450) fine.

Manuel Alvarado, 60, will pay out US$89,172 for his "momentary lapse of reason in making these statements". 

His joke prompted costly evacuations, delays for airlines, and brought out a police bomb squad, according to his lawyer Brian Bieber.

Just before boarding an Avianca flight to Bogota, Colombia on Oct 22, a security officer asked Alvarado routine questions.

The Venezuelan doctor responded cheekily that he was carrying C-4 explosives.

Though he corrected himself and said he was just joking, it was too late for airport authorities' taste.

Worst mistake

"He is extremely remorseful. He had no intent to place anyone in fear. He made what turned out to be the worst mistake of his life," Bieber said.

Alvaro will pay the fine in a deal that saw prosecutors agree to drop charges of making a false bomb threat and criminal mischief.

Once he has paid, the surgeon can return home, the attorney added.

Since the Sep 11, 2001 strikes on US targets, penalties for making bomb threats have become increasingly severe.

Source: AFP

Related report: Here's why you shouldn't say the word 'bomb' while waiting to board a plane

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