A security officer at Cam Ranh International Airport in central Vietnam has been fined VND10 million (US$450) for hitting a Chinese passenger on Monday.
Inspectors from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam imposed the penalty on Thursday after a disciplinary board concluding that Nguyen Van Thai, a 30-year-old screening officer, hit the Chinese man on the back during a chaotic scene.
The airport’s management had earlier suspended Thai.
Thai told Tuoi Tre earlier that his action was “impulsive” as he saw the passenger tried to grasp the “work tool” from one of his colleagues.
He said he was also angry after another Chinese passenger accused the scanning team of stealing a cell phone, which was later found to be taken by the passenger’s child.
Phan Le Hoan, the airport’s director, said there was a chaos at the airport on Monday night after a Vietnam Airlines flight to China was delayed.
A number of Chinese passengers were upset after waiting for three hours since 5 p.m. and they started screaming, jumping onto the seats in the waiting area and causing disorder, Hoan said.
Camera footage showed Thai hit the passenger after the man refused to sit down.
Earlier several Chinese websites said some Chinese passengers were beaten and demanded to pay bribes at the Cam Ranh International Airport on Monday.
The reports said many Chinese passengers were not satisfied with the attitude and behavior of the airport staff over the delay of around five hours.
But Hoan said there was no beating other than one passenger hit by Thai.
Immigration officers also dismissed the bribery accusations.
There has been growing interest for the beach town of Nha Trang, 36 kilometers to the north of Cam Ranh International Airport, among Chinese tourists. The airport currently receives around 2,000 Chinese passengers every day, Hoan said.
Cam Ranh, the district, is also famous for a beautiful bay.