Hanoi airport worker arrested for luggage theft

By Ha An, Thanh Nien News

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Passengers have their luggage screened at a Vietnamese airport. Photo credit: baogiaothong.vn
A worker at Hanoi's Noi Bai airport has been taken into custody on suspicion of carrying out at least nine luggage thefts, the city police said Tuesday.
Nguyen Quoc Thang, 27, started working for Noi Bai International Airport Ground Services, a subsidiary of the state-owned Vietnam Airlines Corporation, in 2009.
At the time of arrest he was tasked with supervising the handling of luggage and cargo.
His earliest alleged theft the police could track was on November 1 last year when he stole four cell phones worth VND8 million (US$366.5) from a consignment belonging to the military-owned telecommunications company Viettel.
Since then he allegedly stole things like perfumes, fashion accessories, cell phones and cameras on eight other occasions and sold them for more than VND176 million ($8,000).
The police said Thang could have colluded with other workers in carrying out the thefts.
Thang's arrest comes more than a month after the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam pledged to crack down on luggage theft at airports, an issue that has been in the news following a slew of passenger complaints.
In fact, speaking at a meeting Monday, Lai Xuan Thanh, chief of the aviation agency, said thanks to bolstered preventive measures there have been no complaints recently.

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