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 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.
Officers investigating reports of a suspicious device on a flight to @STN_Airport yesterday have concluded their enquiries.
The object was found not to be of concern. Officers spoke with two men & neither were found to have committed any offences.
— ERSOU (@_ERSOU) August 31, 2020
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”.
The force said the two men had been spoken with and neither were considered to have committed any offence.
An ERSOU spokesman said the object was a mobile phone.
Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie, 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 co-operation and understanding while officers conducted their inquiries.”
Ryanair said on Sunday evening that all passengers on board had disembarked safely, while those waiting to depart to Vienna had been transferred to a spare aircraft to avoid delays.