Man Who Faked Coronavirus On Packed Commuter Train Now Faces Seven Years In Jail
He's being charged with premeditated hooliganism after the incident, which took place on the Moscow Metro.
Footage taken on a smartphone shows Karomatullo Dzhaborov wearing a mask before falling to the floor and having a 'coronavirus attack' in front of a packed carriage of commuters.
Some passengers try to help the 25-year-old, when one of his friends screams 'coronavirus'. The carriage empties within seconds at the next stop.
Local media say that the police initially charged Dzhaborov and his friends with hooliganism for the stunt.
But since then, prosecutors have reportedly upgraded the charge and Dzhaborov is now facing up to seven years in prison for the joke.
His lawyer Roman Shakhmantov said: "He is no longer accused of simply hooliganism, but now premeditated hooliganism."
In Russia, hooliganism has been listed as a criminal offence. It's similar to disorderly conduct, and is used as a catch-all charge for prosecuting unapproved behaviour.
The charge is now determined to be 'premeditated' due to the alleged involvement of other people and how it was set up to be filmed.
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He's not the first person to use the disease, which has now killed more than 2,014 people, to try to get likes on social media.
Another man who was trying to become internet-famous caused a plane to return to the airport it had taken off from hours earlier after he stood up and proclaimed that he had the novel coronavirus.
James Potok, 28, was travelling on a flight between Toronto, Canada and Jamaica when he decided to let his big mouth talk him into a pair of handcuffs.
He stood up and announced to the entire plane that he had recently travelled to the 'capital of the coronavirus' in China and wasn't feeling too well.
The aspiring musician, who has more than 30,000 Instagram followers, said his ill-advised illness outburst was 'simply a joke', but - completely understandably - no-one at all thought it was funny.
Speaking after the WestJet Airlines flight was diverted back to Toronto, Potok told CityNews: "About midway through the flight, I stood up, pulled my video camera out - I was going to post it to Instagram, send it to [Canadian entertainment account] 6ixbuzz so it goes viral.
"I looked around, I said, 'Can I get everybody's attention please.'
"I followed up by saying, word-for-word, I said, 'I just came back from Hunan province, the capital of the coronavirus... I'm not feeling too well. Thank you.'"
Yeah, hilarious mate.
Featured Image Credit: CEN