Two men released without charge after RAF jets intercept flight to UK | UK news

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theguardian

Two men detained after a Ryanair flight to the UK was intercepted by RAF fighter jets have been released without charge after a suspicious object left in the toilet was found to be a mobile phone.

A 34-year-old Kuwaiti national and a 48-year-old Italian were held by officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) after their flight landed at Stansted airport shortly after 7pm on Sunday.

The RAF confirmed that Typhoon fighters from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire had been scrambled to intercept the aircraft and escort it into the airport in Essex.

The two men had arrived on a flight from Vienna and were detained under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, police said.

ERSOU said on Monday that an object thought to be suspicious found in the plane’s bathroom had been examined and “found not to be of concern”. An ERSOU spokesman said the object was a mobile phone.

The force said the two men had been spoken with and neither were considered to have committed any offence.

Det Supt Andy Waldie, the head of ERSOU’s counter-terrorism policing unit, said: “We understandably take any reports of suspicious objects or behaviour on flights very seriously and thankfully on this occasion there was no cause for concern.

“I’d like to thank those on the flight for their cooperation and understanding while officers conducted their inquiries.”

Ryanair said on Sunday evening that all passengers onboard had disembarked safely, while those waiting to depart to Vienna had been transferred to another aircraft to avoid delays.

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