Japan arrests Vietnam Airlines co-pilot for smuggling
Hanoi DPA Wed, 17 Dec 2008 - A Vietnam Airlines co-pilot was arrested Wednesday in Tokyo on suspicion of fencing stolen Japanese goods in Vietnam, an airline official said. Dang Xuan Hop, 33, was arrested by Japanese police after his flight from Hanoi landed at Tokyo's Narita International Airport. Police accuse him of being part of a ring that smuggled items stolen by a Vietnamese gang in Japan to customers in Vietnam.
"We deeply regret this case because it has badly affected Vietnam Airlines' image and confidence," said airline spokesman Trinh Ngoc Thanh. "We have decided to suspend him from flying."
Thanh said Vietnam Airlines instructs its aircrews on forbidden activities before every flight, but admitted that the number of employees involved in similar scandals was increasing.
"We will need to review our rules to limit wrongdoing," said Thanh.
In May, Vietnam Airlines flight attendant Tran Thanh Phong was arrested by Japanese airport police when he violated customs restrictions by entering the country with brand-name goods valued at more than 10,000 dollars.
In April, pilot Lai Quoc Viet was arrested by Australian police for smuggling 3.4 million Australian dollars from Australia to Vietnam in 2005 and 2006.
In 2007, two flight attendants were detained in South Korea when customs officers found they had illegally brought 300,000 dollars from Vietnam to South Korea.
(Source: Earth Times http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/246637,japan-arrests-vietnam-airlines-co-pilot-for-smuggling.html)