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Stewardess arrested in Tokyo over smuggling allegations

Update: March, 27/2014 - 09:48
A Vietnam Airlines stewardess has been taken into custody by Tokyo police pending further investigation for allegedly attempting to smuggle stolen goods, according to Kyodo News of Japan.— Photo vtc
HA NOI (VNS)— A Vietnam Airlines stewardess has been taken into custody by Tokyo police pending further investigation for allegedly attempting to smuggle stolen goods, according to Kyodo News of Japan.

25-year-old Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc allegedly tried to transport 21 items of stolen clothing worth around JPY125,000 (US$1,200) on a bus provided for Vietnam Airlines staff from a hotel in Osaka to Kansai International Airport last September.

Ngoc was believed to be smuggling the clothes for a Vietnamese woman living in Japan, according to the news agency.

She is also suspected of transporting stolen goods worth JPY3 million ($29,300) since last July.

Japanese police said Ngoc had denied the allegation and said she was unaware the clothes were stolen.

Around 20 other Vietnam Airlines employees are also suspected of smuggling activities, and five of them, including a pilot and four cabin attendants, have been asked to report to Japanese police. All of them are currently outside Japan.

In response to this information, a representative from Vietnam Airlines told VnExpress online newspaper that the airline had contacted Tokyo police a month ago to clarify the information covered by the press, stating that a member of the Vietnam Airlines aircrew was suspected of transporting stolen goods in Japan.

Vietnam Airlines also contacted the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan and the Ministry of Public Security to investigate the case following current regulations.

Vietnam Airlines would not cover up and would resolutely punish any individual abusing their duty to illegally transport goods, the representative said.

The Vietnam Airlines office in Japan was working to clarify the case, but the branch had not received any official information from Japanese investigators, the representative said.

The office was working with Tokyo police yesterday to provide essential information and documents to support the investigation relating to Ngoc.

Vietnam Airlines also started its own investigation with the Ministry of Public Security yesterday.

Last week, Vietnam Airlines banned staff from carrying large suitcases in an attempt to crack down on smuggling by flight crews. — VNS

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