Vietnamese police arrested a Chinese passenger for stealing from two Japanese passengers on a Vietnam Airlines flight from Jakarta to Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.
Xu Haisheng, 44, admitted to stealing around US$5,000 from Awaji Eiji, 62, and Ozawa Hitoshi, 57; the thief will be deported back to Indonesia after paying a fine.
The police did not explain why he wasn't charged with a crime, given the large amount of money at issue in the case.
Around 10 minutes before the plane landed at HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport, a Vietnamese passenger named Nguyen Thi H. informed flight attendants of Xu's “abnormal” behavior.
H. said Xu (seated in 23A) kept changing seats. Eventually, he sat down next to H. (seat No. 22C) and reportedly took a suitcase from the overhead locker, opened it and rummaged through its contents.
Xu Haisheng and the wallet he took from the suitcase of two Japanese passengers on a Vietnam Airlines flight on Tuesday. Photo credit: Nguoi Lao Dong
H. saw him take money out of a wallet in the suitcase and put the money in his pocket.
The flight attendants immediately asked passengers in row No. 22 to identify the suitcase.
The two Japanese passengers in seats No. 21C and 21D said it was theirs.
After checking the suitcase, they said around $5,000 was missing from one of the two wallets inside.
The crew members ordered Xu not to move from his seat until the plane landed. While the plane was taxiing toward the gate, some passengers (retrieving their luggage) noticed a bunch of US dollar notes falling out of Xu's suitcase.
Xu was arrested at the airport.
The incident represented the 13th time that Chinese passengers were caught stealing on Vietnam Airlines flights.