Vietnam athlete accused of making bomb threat

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A man who was taking a flight to Indonesia for a sporting event for athletes with physical disabilities was held by aviation authorities in Ho Chi Minh City for allegedly making a bomb threat on Tuesday.

Initial information indicates that while completing check-in procedures at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Cao Hong Son, a tennis athlete, claimed that he would bomb the Vietnam Airlines' airplane to clear the crowd.

The claim was heard by nearby air staffers, who reported the incident to authorities, and the latter immediately invited Son to their office to make a record of his acts, but Son refused to sign it.

The airport's security guards then checked the aircraft, which was assigned for the Vietnamese athletes' delegation only, and found nothing. The flight was delayed for nearly one hour.

Later the airport's authorities invited Vu The Phiet, who led the sporting delegation, to their office. There, Phiet signed the case's records and agreed to leave Son behind.

In the meantime, Son denied that he made the threat, adding that after he took his seat on the plane, Phiet came to ask what he said about a bomb that delayed the flight but Son said he didn't do it.

However, very soon later a security guard asked Son to leave the airplane, and right after he left, the airplane took off, Son said.

According to Son, at the office of the Southern Airport Authority, he refused to sign the record of his "making false information about bombs, threatening the flight's security."

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The athlete said authorities later escorted him out of the airport before giving him a notice asking him to come back later to solve the case.

A report on VnExpress on Wednesday said the notice didn't state a date in which the case will be handled, while Son had his passport and belongings confiscated.

Son was part of the Vietnamese delegation attending the ASEAN Paragames 2011 in Indonesia on December 15-20. The delegation had 164 members, including 121 athletes. They will compete in seven out of 11 games such as a marathon, table tennis and swimming.

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