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Russian Man Flies to Los Angeles Without a Passport or Boarding Pass, Leading to FBI Investigation

Anyone who flies internationally knows you must have a passport and boarding pass. However, a strange incident involving a man flying to another country without either document recently occurred. On November 4, a Russian man named Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava took a Scandinavian Airlines flight from Copenhagen Airport (CPH) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Ochigava's inability to provide documents verifying his identity to the customs authorities upon arrival led to an FBI… ( More...

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No passport and no boarding pass, so how and why did SAS employees even let him onto the aircraft in Denmark?
mbrews 16
You may be discounting the possibility that the suspect used FORGED credentials to board, then conveniently flushed them away. To (perhaps) make an identity switch, & seek asylum in the City of Angels (L.A.) Just speculating.
srg50 0
He probably boarded with a legitimate passport and pass. The immigration authorities and SAS in Denmark will be able to inform the FBI of the passport he used and he will be quickly identified. If the documents were stashed on the aircraft the cleaning staff would hand them in. If flushed.... yuk. No one will lose their job unless collusion can be proved.
lynnpype 5
He didn't have a boarding pass. CBP cross checked the manifest with their system and they found that all passengers on the manifest were processed. This guy effectively was not on the manifest, so he didn't have a boarding pass. Source: affidavit.
mbrews 8
The L.A. Times article of December 12 confirms that Mr. Ochigava was a stowaway.

Per the article, the cabin crew checked "head counts" for their cabin sections ( for weight and balance on the Airbus 330), but apparently did NOT check against TOTAL pax count !!??

The fabled Inspector Clouseau might ask " Did Mr. Ochigava have a friendly accomplice in the cabin crew, cleaning crew or airport staff ? "

Clouseau might also ask " Exactly who verifies that crew rest areas are EMPTY pre-flight ?
Merely speculation from NOT the pink panther... :)
macclad1 9
"Does yur dog bite?"
"Then why is your dog biting me?"
"It's not my dog".
srg50 1
A genuine stowaway!
SorenTwin 0
The story clearly states that he didn't have documents to verify his identity; it doesn't say that he didn't have documents.
Greg S 7
Sergey, you magnificent bastard!
jetjocknj 12
Wrong definition of stowaway: a stowaway is someone who manages to get aboard an aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle without proper authorization, not someone who winds up in the "landing gear." For an airplane, it could be in the landing gear wells, or cargo or electronics compartments. Also, "flight crew" is traditionally used to denote the pilots, and the flight crew here cannot be blamed, as they were up front doing their jobs. It was the "cabin crew" (flight attendants and purser) who fell down on the job here.
Bryan Williams 6
My wife used to work at Manchester, NH (MHT). While she was there, several people deplaned thinking they were in Manchester, UK (MAN). Boarding passes said MAN on them, but gate crew in Newark, Charlotte, Philadelphia, or Houston, etc would have had to let them through. Once seated, they didn't conflict with someone else's confirmed seat? How? But it happened a couple of times a year. (2002-2006)
Jesse Wilson 5
Some years ago we were traveling from DFW to San Jose, Costa Rica. A flight attendant announced "If anyone is on the flight thinking we are going to San Jose, California, now is your last chance to get off because we are going to Costa Rica." A couple promptly jumped up and got off the plane. Everyone else just looked around, shrugged, and laughed. No idea how they got on the plane because there were the usual passport checks.
Bayouflier 32
Passports????? We don't need no stinking passports. (heard recently in El Paso).
Highflyer1950 21
Oh Well, better build a wall then?
Paul Miller 10
That made me laugh so much, thanks.
Alan Dahl 3
Other articles I have read said that he was an Israeli citizen but others say he just had Israeli "identification" so there is some confusion in that area. Given that he was said to be living in Germany I think it is unlikely that he entered the country with only a Russian passport so he must have had some other citizenship or maybe residency. Even transiting through Denmark without a non-Russian passport should not have been possible unless he somehow snuck across the border with Germany.
Jeff Hill 4
The last time I transited from Germany to Denmark there were no ID checks going on at the border. I don't think he would have needed any documentation to get from Germany to Denmark...just walk across the border, or buy a train ticket, etc.
David Waterman 5
Jeff, both Denmark and Germany are EU countries and have signed up to the Schengen agreement which precludes anyone crossing their respective borders. Entering by air, however, would required ID dependent upon where you are transiting from. Hope this explains.
Jeff Hill 2
Understood it well, many trips.
Alan Dahl 1
Doh! You are of course correct, I was thinking Israel to Denmark when I wrote that part and then remembered he was living in Germany and totally forgot about the Schengen Agreement! Ignore that part of my comment!
Yeah! Very very strange "incident". What kind of controls he passed?
Ed Berling 8
"Hmmm, the only ID this guy has is an Israeli library card. Should we let him board?' 'No problem, the plane is going to LA, they can deal with him.'
Don Whyte 2
The Terminal...
Raymond Hoff 2
Did anyone check to see that he wasn't deadheading in the third seat? Forgetting where you were for the last few days and eating magic mushrooms seemed to work for the Alaska pilot.
The Dude 2
Mistakes and oversights do happen. So it is not surprising to me that this happened.
The reports don't go into any kind of motive. Unclear whether he has some sort of mental problems.

He got a harsh treatment, spending so much time in jail (at our expense). As far as I am concerned, I would have just sent him back at SAS expense.
8984p 4
He could have flown instead to Mexico, become a Mexican crossing the boarder in Texas with no problem
carste10 3
Hah, should have flown to Mexico and walked across.
Huck Finn 2
Must have had some funds for the Biden family!
Joe Keifer 2
I thought only our southern border was wide open? That'll teach me to think!
Thomas Grugle 14
I know your remark is meant to be snarky, but you’re right that the obsession with the southern border is unproductive and instead we need to look at all points of entry and comprehensive immigration reform. But politicians don’t care about reality, only stirring outrage and suspicion to win re-election.
macclad1 3
It's unproductive? Do tell, sir!
Bill Overdue -1
Obsessive? 8.2MM illegals in 3 yrs! Are you high?
Michael Dealey 1
But isn't that interesting? There's a big hoopla if a random Russian arrives illegally by air but absolutely no one cares that terrorists, traffickers, and fighting-age Chinese are crossing the border unidentified.

He should have just landed in Tijuana and walked on over.
darjr26 8
It’s worse than you think. Besides the terrorists and traffickers I’ve heard there is a groups of Irish Tenors sneaking across the border with the intent of performing, in front of our children, a gender neutral version of “Oh Danny Boy” called “Oh Danny Them”. Shocking.
Dan Marotta 3
OMG - Snot and coffee all over my keyboard!
darjr26 2
“there is a group”. Sorry…I fired my editor.
Alan Perry 5
This guy was caught at the US port of entry and detained. A hoopla is being made because it is an unusual situation.

If you want to use this situation to ride some hobby horse about illegal border crossings, go for it, but that isn’t on topic for this story.
Michael Dealey 1
The whole premise of the article is about an illegal border crossing.

But you're right. It's only unusual because the dude was caught at a port of entry. I can only assume that this fact, and his nationality, are why this even made the news.

I still fail to see any fundamental difference between this situation and the southern border - except that this dude was actually stopped and detained. That in itself is newsworthy.
macclad1 1
It's "generally" on topic, but specifically, yes, you are correct, in that narrow definition, no.
Nooge 0
What the Dealey is he is riding a Horse Hockey Horse
Bill Overdue 2
Pfft, that's nothing. 8,355,750 illegal aliens walked across our border and we don't know who the hell they are either!
Exactly! Why is he in jail??
DB Vesty 1
He "...requested two meals during each meal service and attempted to eat the cabin crew's chocolate." :))
i see the Security staff checking Boarding Pass and passport three times by the time we board, at gate, on the ramp to AC and at the aircraft gate as well... May be he sneaked as ground staff and stayed in...
Something fishy in Denmark!
I don’t know . It’s very hard to believe that such incident can occur on an international flight towards the United States without the knowledge of Danish authorities.

I have not read a CBP report regarding this matter.
A stiff fine should be imposed on this Airline if this is the case .

No Matter of what Nationality, a security breach is a serious Matter.
How can an individual escape detection system, security passport checks ,enter the he aircraft, not be on the manifest and fail detection by the customer service?
All this without a passport?
This Airline and its employees should be responsible and retrained for security thoroughly.
The question is : who was this individual?
What is his background and why was he on that flight ?
What was the purpose behind this actions ?
What was he doing in Denmark?
Did he have any travel items on him ?
There some unanswered questions.
How can his happen. Amazing
matt jensen 1
This is only a test
This is only a test
Thank you for participating
flyinokie 1
I doubt his intent was to enter US illegally, his behavior on the flight was too noticeable. If he had a plan to get on the plane illegally, he would have had a plan to get around customs and immigration on landing too. Hope we see the final report from FBI and FAA. Also, please talk up the wall on our southern border, I want to go into the ladder business in Tejuana.
Paul Miller 0
Just when you feel that you have herd everything? then this turns up to rattle our security? Someone is going to lose their job and that's for sure,
Thomas Grugle 8
But our security caught him….? Maybe you mean our collective feeling of security? If so, that’s definitely an illusion.
Jesse Carroll 0
Why didnt he juat walk across the Rio Grande here in Texas? Then Biden would have given him FREE EVERYTHING33Just saying!
Larry Kreuger 0
I worry far more about weirdo whitebread American terrorists (compared to some random stowaway dude) all decked out in their ninja warrior outfits with their leather ammo pouches, attendant peripherals, bug out bags, $39 sunglasses that cost $1.39 to manufacture but are hawked by some Aussie sounding dude from the outback so the gullible bubbas ordered an extra set by just paying for shipping…but then they complain about not being able to pay for groceries. These angry gullible men who apparently quit reading in the fifth grade are the real problem. Go figure.
jetjocknj 3
C'mon, tell us how you really feel!
msetera -1
So Scandinavian Airlines has a diversity/inclusion employee problem too?
ExPatHere -8
No different from foreigners walking into USA through Southern Borders. Our sovereignty is gone.
Alan Perry 10
Do you even know what the word sovereignty means? Is everyone who breaks a federal law taking sovereignty away from the US?

This guy was caught at his US port of entry, so it seems like the US side was doing its job in this case.
Bill Overdue -1
Hmm, the question is: Do YOU know sovereignty? Clearly, you dont!
Nooge 2
We need smart people willing to work and wanting to be here in the greatest country in the world to replace undesirable ex pats
darjr26 0
Stephen Miller has confirmed, that if Trump is elected president, he will be a wall around the jet bridge that SAS uses at LAX and will make Denmark pay for it.
darjr26 3
“He will build a wall…” sorry about that.
Rob Palmer 0
I used to know a retired service man, who using his brother's old uniform on military hops used to yearly attend Octoberfest, but maybe that's easier.


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