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Teenage bomb hoaxer jailed for three years for sparking 400 school evacuations

Mirror logo Mirror 07/12/2018 Abigail O'Leary
a person posing for the camera: Duke-Cohan admitted three counts of making hoax bomb threats © CENTRAL NEWS Duke-Cohan admitted three counts of making hoax bomb threats

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A teenage bomb hoaxer has been jailed for three years for sparking 400 school evacuations with fake threats.

George Duke-Cohan, 19, caused chaos with his mass hoax campaign in March this year.

He was also convicted for reporting a plane from the UK to San Francisco had been hijacked, triggering a major security scare when it landed.

Duke-Cohan was arrested just days later but in April, while under investigation, he sent more emails to schools in the UK and US claiming pipe bombs had been planted on the premises.

Duke-Cohan previously admitted three counts of making hoax bomb threats at Luton Magistrates' Court.

a man looking at the camera © Credits: National Crime Agency

The email sent to schools read: "This is a message to everyone. We have sent in a student with a bomb. The bomb is set to go off in 3 hours time. If you do sent $5,000 USD to payments@veltpvp.com.

"If you do not send the money! We will blow up the device. Our site has all the information needed."

It was then followed by Arabic writing.

VeltPvP later issued a statement which read: "We have nothing to do with the bomb threats that were sent out to the 400+ UK schools.

"We've been being harassed by a group of cyber criminals that are trying to harass us in anyway possible.

"We're extremely sorry for anyone who had to deal with this, but just know it's fake."

a close up of a person © Credits: central news

National Crime Agency investigators working with the FBI also identified that Duke-Cohan made bomb threats to a US-bound United Airlines flight via phone calls to San Francisco Airport and their bureau police.

In a recording of one of the phone calls, which was made while the plane was in the air, he posed as a worried father claiming his daughter contacted him from the flight to say it had been hijacked by gunmen, one of whom had a bomb.

On arrival in San Francisco, the plane was the subject of a significant security operation in a quarantined area of the airport.

All 295 passengers had to remain on board causing disruption to onward journeys and financial loss to the airline.

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