Traveler Pulls Off Impossible: No Passport, No Problem at LAX
A Russian man has made headlines after allegedly boarding a flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles without a passport, visa, or ticket. According to federal officials, Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava, a Russian-Israeli dual national, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on November 4th, 2019, without any official record of his travel.
The astounding feat of Ochigava was discovered when he presented himself for entry at the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) checkpoint at LAX. CBP officers were quick to note that he was not a listed passenger on the flight manifest for Scandinavian Airlines flight SK 931, or any other incoming international flight.
The crew members on the flight recounted their experiences with the stowaway, stating that Ochigava had wandered around the plane during the flight and even changed seats multiple times. He had also requested two meals during each meal service and had attempted to eat a member of the cabin crew’s chocolate. Although some crew members had noticed him, they did not see his boarding pass and assumed that he had taken an unoccupied seat during boarding.
Upon questioning, Ochigava gave false and misleading information about his travel to the United States, initially claiming that he had left his U.S. passport on the airplane. It was later discovered that he did not have a passport but instead had Russian and Israeli identification cards. He had also taken a partial photograph of a passport on his phone, but the photo did not show the passport holder’s picture.
FBI Agent Caroline Walling, who filed the complaint, shared details from an interview with Ochigava on November 5th. He admitted to having a Ph.D. in economics and marketing but stated that he had not worked in Russia for a long time. When questioned about his travel to Copenhagen, he could not remember how he got there and claimed to not remember how he went through security without a ticket.
Ochigava is now facing charges of being a stowaway on an aircraft and is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center. His trial is scheduled for December 26th, although it is subject to change. The FBI agent stated that their investigation is ongoing.
This incident has raised several questions about airport security and how Ochigava was able to board a flight without proper identification. It is a concerning breach of security that a person could enter a foreign country without any official record of their travel. The incident also serves as a reminder for travelers to always have their important documents, such as passports and tickets, with them at all times during their journey.
The Russian man’s motive for attempting this bizarre and risky journey remains unclear. As more details emerge, the public eagerly awaits the outcome of Ochigava’s trial and the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation. The incident has sparked international attention and serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of attempting to travel without proper documentation and security checks.