A STOWAWAY was quizzed by the FBI after flying 6,000 miles with no passport or ticket – and insisting he can’t remember how he did it.
The 56-year-old Russian-Israeli man boarded the Scandinavian Airlines flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles last month.
AlamyA man who flew thousands of miles with no passport or ticket has claimed he ‘was not sure how he did it’[/caption]
Despite having no documents, the opportunist indulged in second portions of the in-flight meal and even tried to gobble up chocolate belonging to the cabin crew.
Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava is now charged with being a stowaway as the FBI attempts to figure out just how he made it onboard after he claimed “he did not remember how he went through security without a ticket”.
And when the cabin crew were later quizzed by the FBI they said “nothing seemed amiss” with Ochigava, although he had moved seats several times during the flight.
But, it later transpired he was not meant to be onboard at all.
It was only when border staff at LAX found he didn’t have a passport that alarm bells started to ring.
Ochigava was not on the manifest for the flight SK 931, nor was he on the passenger list of any other international flight.
He had seemingly managed to evade international security and passport checks in Copenhagen to get aboard.
He later told the FBI “he had not been sleeping for three days and did not understand what was going on.”
An affidavit, written by FBI officer, Caroline Walling, said: “When asked how he got through security in Copenhagen, Ochigava claimed he did not remember how he went through security without a ticket.”
The affidavit added: “The crew noticed Ochigava because he wandered around the plane and kept changing his seat.
“In addition, he asked for two meals during each meal service, and at one point attempted to eat the chocolate that belonged to members of the cabin crew.
“The crew members did not see his boarding pass but did note that the seat he initially took during boarding (i.e., seat 36D) was supposed to be an unoccupied seat.”
She said staff did not realise there was an extra passenger onboard as although they counted those on board in each section to check the plane was balanced, they did not tally them up or check it against the flight log.
When the flight arrived at LAX, Ochigava disembarked as normal and presented at customs.
But when he could not present a passport or visa, he was interviewed by the FBI, telling staff he had a PhD in economics and management and had left his passport on the plane.
However, when no passport was found, his excuse was that he had not slept for three days and was not sure what was going on, or how he got there.
Walling said: “When questioned, Ochigava gave false and misleading information about his travel to the United States, including initially telling CBP that he left his U.S. passport on the airplane.”
Officers then searched his bag and discovered “Russian identification cards and an Israeli identification card” as well as “a partial photograph of a passport.”
They also searched his phone and found a picture of the flight board at Copenhagen airport and “screen grabs from the Maps app showing a hostel in Kiel, Germany, and street maps from an unknown foreign city.”
A spokesperson for Scandinavian Airlines told CourtWatch: “I can confirm there has been an incident where a passenger has been involved in the below scenario departing from Copenhagen with an SAS flight.
“The matter is being handled by relevant authorities both in US and Denmark and we cannot comment any further. It’s the authorities who will have to give further details.”
The man was later charged with being a stowaway and is being investigated by the FBILeave a comment