A man was fined Thursday VND20 million (US$950) for making a bomb threat when he was taking a flight to
a sporting event for athletes with physical disabilities in Indonesia.
Cao Hong Son, a 40-year-old tennis athlete, received the highest punishment among nearly 10 cases of bomb threats in Vietnam since the beginning of this year, a report on Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer)'s news website said.
According to the report, in other cases Vietnam's transport ministry inspectorate often fined violators VND15 million, in the range of between VND10 million to VND20 million. However, Son was the only one to be fined so heavily, because he was not honest and did not cooperate with related agencies during inspections.
Local aviation authorities previously considered banning Son from taking flights in Vietnam's territory. But they didn't take that measure because he is a national athlete who has a high demand for travel within the country and from Vietnam to other countries for competitions, the report said.
On December 12, while boarding the state-owned Vietnam Airlines' airplane at the Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat Airport, Son claimed that he would bomb the plane to clear the crowd.
The claim was heard by security guards and other staffers, which led to an inspection of the aircraft.
No bomb was found, but the flight was delayed for 40 minutes.
Although Son kept denying that he made the threat, the flight's captain and Vu The Phiet, who was then leading the sporting delegation to attend the ASEAN Paragames 2011, signed an agreement not let Son onboard, the report said.
Son was said to have drunk before the flight, according to Nguoi Lao Dong.