A customs official and his family allegedly looted a Vietnam Airlines plane on Wednesday only to forget a bag containing life jackets and food trays at the airport.
Tan Son Nhat Airport security found a bag containing a laptop, the jackets and trays abandoned outside the terminal near a taxi queue, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
They notified Vietnam Airlines who later discovered three life jackets were missing from an Airbus 321 that had flown from the northern port city of Hai Phong to Ho Chi Minh City.
That same day, Vu Ngoc Quang, a Hai Phong customs official, his wife and two daughters inquired about a bag they lost on the same flight.
According to Tan Son Nhat Airport Police, Quang declared that there was a laptop, three life jackets and four food trays in his bag.
He inexplicably tried to blame the airport police for having put the items into his bag after they began fining him.
The case was then transferred to local police.
At the police station, Quang and his wife claimed their ten-year-old daughter had taken the jackets and trays unbeknownst to them.
The family refused to pay a fine of between VND5-10 million (US$235-470). Police allowed them to leave the station after Quang agreed to return to speak with investigators.
According to Vietnam Airlines, this is not an isolated incident. Passengers routinely make off with blankets, food trays and bathroom objects.
“We tried to tie or glue our moisturizing lotions to the wall but they've all gone missing. Finally, a crew member had an idea to break the jars' caps and since then, no one steals them,” news website VnExpress quoted an unnamed representative of the company as saying.
The airline said that stealing life jackets is a serious violation because they have the potential to save lives in the event of an emergency.