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Man arrested by authorities on Qantas Airways flight is not Pakistani

A social media page falsely claimed that a man who was restrained on a flight to Australia was a Pakistani national

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Claim: A Pakistani man was arrested by authorities on a flight to Australia for misbehaving with a flight attendant.

Fact:  The man in the video is an Australian, not a Pakistani. The video was first published by 9 News Australia and has been widely reported by various Australian media outlets.

On 2 January 2024, a social media news page called @frontalforce posted a picture on X (formerly Twitter) of a man being subdued by other passengers and a crew member on a flight to Australia with the caption, “A Pakistani man arrested by authorities on flight to Australia for misbehaving with flight attendant.”

Fact or Fiction?

The claim that the man in the video is Pakistani is false. A simple Google search of the phrase “man arrested by authorities on flight to Australia for misbehaving with flight attendant” revealed a video of the incident matching the image in the viral tweet. The video was originally published by 9 News Australia (archive) on 31 December 2023, and the incident has been covered by several Australian and English news outlets such as The Canberra Times, The Guardian, Sky News Australia, 7News Australia, and others. These news reports confirm the man in the video is a 28-year-old Australian national from Victoria.

According to Sky News Australia, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) boarded the aircraft after it landed and detained the 28-year-old Victorian man, who was then taken for medical assessment. “The AFP will continue to investigate the incident,” a spokesperson said, and confirmed that no charges had been laid yet. 

Virality

The claim received more than 1,500,000 views, 6,700 likes and 1,300 reposts on X, and was also shared on Facebook and YouTube.

Conclusion: The claim that a Pakistani man was arrested by authorities on a flight to Australia for misbehaving with a flight attendant is false. The man in the image is an Australian national from Victoria, and not a Pakistani.

Background image in cover photo: Britannica 

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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