LAX passenger arrives on international flight without passport, visa, ticket, report says

Cameron Kiszla

A Russian man flew from Europe to LAX without a passport, visa or plane ticket last month, and officials have no idea how he did it. Neither, it seems, does the man himself.

Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava faces a charge of being a stowaway on an aircraft related to a Nov. 4 flight, but according to a report by Jason Koebler published jointly by 404 Media and Court Watch, he “was not a stowaway in the traditional sense.”

“[Ochigava] seemingly interacted with flight crew, ate two meals on the plane, spoke to other passengers on the flight, and, at one point ‘attempted to eat the chocolate that belonged to members of the cabin crew,’ Koebler wrote. “The affidavit states that ‘most’ of the crew noticed him on the plane, and said he was sitting in a few different seats, but that nothing else seemed amiss.”

Despite being very visible to many on the plane, Ochigava, an economist, had apparently evaded security in Copenhagen, Denmark, from which his flight departed.

Ochigava was not on the flight’s manifest, nor was he on the passenger list of any other international flight.

His iPhone contained a picture of the flight board at Copenhagen’s airport and “screen grabs from the ‘Maps’ app showing a hostel in Kiel, Germany, and street maps from an unknown foreign city,” FBI agent Caroline Walling wrote in an affadavit.

He did have some identification, however.

“A search of his bags found ‘Russian identification cards and an Israeli identification card,’ as well as ‘a partial photograph of a passport,’” Koebler wrote.

Perhaps the most confounding part of the saga is that Ochigava seemingly had no inkling anything was amiss until he arrived in the U.S. and tried to pass an examination by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

At first, Ochigava told CBP officials that he left his passport on the plane, but no document was found. Further complicating matters, Ochigava wasn’t in the CBP system at all, something “the CBP officer had never encountered,” Walling wrote.

Ochigava didn’t even remember how he got to Copenhagen in the first place or what he was doing there.

“Ochigava claimed he had not been sleeping for three days and did not understand what was going on. Ochigava stated he might have had a plane ticket to come to the United States, but he was not sure … When asked how he got through security in Copenhagen, Ochigava claimed he did not remember how he went through security without a ticket,” Walling wrote.

At this point, it seems only one thing is known for sure.

“Everyone involved is very confused,” Koebler wrote.

Cameron Kiszla Local News,News,FBI,Federal Bureau of Investigation,LAX,Los Angeles International Airport

2023-12-11 15:53:00 , KTLA

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