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On October 13, 2023, a disturbing incident unfolded as a 39-year-old man was arrested and formally charged with issuing a bomb threat against the cruise ship Genting Dream. The bomb threat, reported by Resorts World Cruises, prompted immediate action by Singaporean authorities and triggered extensive security assessments on the ship. Fortunately, no explosive devices were discovered. The incident impacted cruise shipping operations in Singapore, causing a delay in passenger embarkation.
Details of the Incident
The bomb threat occurred while Genting Dream was berthed at Singapore’s Marina Bay Cruise Terminal. The report was made to Singaporean police on October 13th, around 4 pm local time (approximately 8 am UTC). Local authorities, including the ICA (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority) and security personnel from Marina Bay Terminal, quickly responded to the threat by initiating comprehensive security checks aboard the ship.
Although the threat was ultimately determined to be unsubstantiated, the thorough investigations led to the temporary suspension of cruise shipping operations at Singapore Port for approximately 2 hours. This interruption resulted in a delay in the passenger embarkation process, affecting around 4,000 tourists.
Following a swift and comprehensive investigation, the authorities successfully apprehended the 39-year-old suspect, Neo Hui Ghim, approximately 3 hours after the bomb threat was reported.
According to court records, Neo Hui Ghim had sent an email to Resorts World Cruises’ customer service department with the subject line “Bomb at Resorts World Cruises.” The email contained a threatening message, stating, “Please return me back my money, else the ship will explode, and everyone will be dropped into the sea.”
In light of the circumstances and considering potential mental health factors related to the suspect’s actions, Neo Hui Ghim was placed under remand at the Institute of Mental Health for a medical evaluation.
The suspect potentially faces severe penalties, including up to 7 years of imprisonment, a financial penalty of SGD 50,000 (approximately USD 36,500), or a combination of both.
The incident occurred as Genting Dream departed from Singapore at 8:50 pm local time (12:50 UTC) for a 1-night/2-day cruise to nowhere, operating on a roundtrip itinerary from Singapore without port visits, from October 13th to 15th, 2023.