Prankster gets two years in prison for faking ‘coronavirus seizure’ on Russian metro, sparking passenger rush
- Prankster gets two years in prison for faking coronovirus seizure on Moscow metro
- Karomatullo Dzhaborov, 26, was filmed pretending to collapse in February 2020
- Passengers initially ran to help but scrambled away when he started shaking
A prankster has been sentenced to two years in prison for faking a coronavirus seizure on the Russian metro and causing a passenger flight.
Karomatullo Dzhaborov, 26, was filmed falling and appearing to be attacked on a train in the Russian capital in February 2020.
In the video, passengers initially rush to help him, but scramble to escape from the carriage when it begins to shake and voices are heard screaming the man has coronavirus.
He was sentenced to two years and four months in a penal colony for the stunt.
Two accomplices, Stanislav Melikhov and Artur Isachenko, were also given two-year terms, but they were banned for three years.
Russian prankster Karomatullo Dzhaborov (right) was arrested after he faked a coronavirus seizure on the Moscow metro in February 2020
Karomatullo Dzhaborov, 26, was filmed falling down and appearing to be attacked on a train in the Russian capital in February 2020
Dzhaborov’s lawyer Aleksey Popov claimed his client’s joke was intended to raise awareness of Covid-19.
He said: ‘He has a lot of videos on different topics that are important to our society.
“His goal was to draw people’s attention to the fact that people should wear masks and protect themselves from a dangerous virus.”
Dzhaborov could be released in three weeks if the judges count the time he spent in pre-trial detention in his sentence.
Video uploaded to a prank site showed Dzhaborov collapsing on the floor of the train as people rush to help him, before turning and fleeing as he begins to grab
As people rush to help, two voices – believed to be Dzhaborov’s henchmen – start screaming about the coronavirus, causing passengers to panic
Popov said this would only happen if the prosecutor’s office and metro administration do not appeal the verdict.
Footage of the incident was posted on a joke site on Feb. 2, but was later removed. It is not clear when the recordings were made.
The police subsequently issued a warrant for the arrest of the perpetrator, and Dzhaborov was arrested on February 3.
He was detained on suspicion of criminal hooliganism, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of 500,000 rubles (£6,000).
Attorney Popov said at the time that his client surrendered himself to the police after a search warrant was issued, and never expected the situation to get so out of hand.
Dzhaborov was detained on 3 February 2020 on suspicion of criminal hooliganism, carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of 500,000 rubles (£6,000).