Russian man flies from Europe to LAX without passport, visa, ticket

A Russian man flew from Copenhagen to Los Angeles last month without a passport, visa, ticket, or any record that he was ever on the flight, according to court records. 

According to an affidavit, federal officials said that Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava, a Russian-Israeli dual national, traveled from Copenhagen on Scandinavian Airlines and landed at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Nov. 4 at 1 p.m., without a plane ticket or the proper identification. 

The complaint states that when Ochigava presented himself for entry at the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) checkpoint at LAX, CBP officers discovered that he was not a listed passenger on the flight manifest for SK 931, or any other incoming international flight.

According to the flight crew, most of them noticed Ochigava on the flight, saying that he wandered around the plane and kept changing his seat. In addition to his seat hopping, he allegedly asked for two meals during each meal service, and at one point attempted to eat the chocolate that belonged to members of the cabin crew, the affidavit stated. 

The crew members said that they did not see his boarding pass but did note that the seat he initially took during boarding was supposed to be an unoccupied seat. 

According to the report, some members of the crew conducted head counts for their specific sections, but only to make sure that the aircraft was balanced for takeoff and landing. One member of the cabin crew said that it looked like Ochigava was trying to talk to other passengers on the flight, but most of the passengers ignored him.

When questioned, the report said that Ochigava gave false and misleading information about his travel to the United States, including initially telling officers that he left his U.S. passport on the airplane.

It was discovered that Ochigava did not have a passport but instead had Russian identification cards and an Israeli identification card. He also had a partial photograph of the passport on his phone showing his name, date of birth, and passport number, but the photo did not show the passport holder’s photograph, according to the report.

FBI Agent Caroline Walling, who filed the complaint, shared details from an interview with Ochigava from Nov. 5.

"Ochigava had a Ph. D in economics and marketing. He last worked as an economist in Russia a long time ago. He 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," Walling wrote. "He did not remember how he got on the plane in Copenhagen. He also would not explain how or when he got to Copenhagen or what he was doing there. When asked how he got through security in Copenhagen, Ochigava claimed he did not remember how he went through security without a ticket."

Ochigava is facing charges of being a stowaway on aircraft, according to the complaint.

"Ochigava is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center pending trial, currently scheduled for Dec. 26 but subject to change. Our investigation is ongoing," an FBI agent told Fox News Digital.

Scandinavian Airlines was not immediately available for comment. 

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