A Hanoi model is likely to face a cash fine after entering herself into a regional beauty pageant without permission from the culture ministry, local media reported.
Nguyen Thi Quynh Nga, 20, is now competing at the Miss Southeast Asia, formerly named Miss Tourism Queen International, in Malaysia, alongside participants from eight other countries in the region.
Nga told local media that her invitation letter came too late and that she did not have time to seek permission from culture officials.
Her spokesperson said the organizers had paid for her air tickets and hotel room so she decided to join the contest, despite a possible cash fine.
Nga is willing to receive penalties when coming back to Vietnam, the spokesperson said.
The contest began on September 24 and will conclude on October 3.
Quynh Nga (1st, R, second row) attends an event at the ongoing beauty contest Miss Southeast Asia in Malaysia. Photo credit: VnExpress
Officials said they will make a decision on the case soon.
According to Vietnam's official rules, those who want to compete in beauty pageants abroad must have at least one national title and must secure permission from the culture ministry.
However, as the maximum cash fine is only VND30 million, or $1,400, and a three-month working ban, a number of models have broken the rule over the past few years, in hopes of winning an international title to give themselves a career boost in Vietnam.
At last year's Miss Tourism Queen International, a Vietnamese contestant was found violating the rule. Dieu Linh was fined VND22.5 million, after winning the Miss South East Asia title at the event.