On Friday, November 11, 2022, someone attempted to smuggle a dual-blade knife hidden in a gaming laptop onto an airplane. The incident took place at Richmond International Airport in Richmond, Virginia and was foiled by officers from the United States Transportation Security Administration – better known as TSA.
The laptop that our colleagues at Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab) Note was neither “a Razer Blade nor an MSI Sword”, it looks like it was a Gigabyte Aorus notebook with totally – too dusty uncleaned fans. If you’re opening up a laptop to hide a knife inside, why not at least give it a little squirt of compressed air while you’re in there?
“The TSA officer manning the checkpoint X-ray machine … discovered what appeared to be a knife in the man’s carry-on bag,” TSA said in a press release.
“The contents of the bag were searched but no knife was initially discovered until each item in the carry-on bag was separated and reinserted through the X-ray machine. At this point, the x-ray showed that the knife was inside the laptop and needed closer examination. After we obtained tools to disassemble the laptop, it turned out that a double-edged knife was artfully hidden inside the computer.”
This term, used in the TSA’s report – artfully disguised – is not a respectful or descriptive whimsy, but rather a law. Artful concealment is a specific charge of not just trying to hide a dangerous object and putting it where it’s not supposed to be, but trying to hide it — like a sword stick or a knife in a hollowed-out book. Separate charges may apply, but the offender in question could expect to pay anywhere from $5,320 to $10,700, depending on how a federal judge and/or jury feels that day.
However, my favorite part is this: “The traveler initially claimed he had no idea there was a knife in his laptop, but after the knife was revealed he confirmed it was his.”
Nothing else is known about the man who attempted knife smuggling at the time, including the motive, except that he was from Williamsburg, Virginia — which is about an hour from Richmond up the coast.
Honestly, I’m amazed the agents bothered with the “get tools that can disassemble the laptop” part because the TSA’s reputation isn’t exactly one for subtlety and niceness if they think you’ve got a knife .
You can read the full press release on the TSA’s website, tsa.gov. (opens in new tab)