Chinese man jailed for 8 years for in-flight theft in Vietnam

By Ngoc Truong   September 30, 2017 | 08:22 pm PT
Chinese man jailed for 8 years for in-flight theft in Vietnam
Wang Qing Jian stands at a trial in Da Nang for in-fight theft on Friday. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Truong
Given the large sum of money, the punishment is the heaviest handed down for the crime in recent years.

A court in the central city of Da Nang sentenced a Chinese man to eight years in jail on Friday for stealing more than VND400 million ($17,600) from a co-passneger on a flight from Saigon to Da Nang last November.

Wang Qing Jian, 53, is said to have hidden the money in his coat before going to the toilet to conceal it in a bag.

Another passenger spotted the act and alerted the victim, who told airport security upon landing.

Wang arrived in Vietnam in September last year. Six days before he was arrested for the theft, he had been blacklisted for rummaging in a passenger’s bag on another domestic flight.

Vietnam carriers reported 11 cases of in-flight thefts in the first four months of this year, a staggering jump from just one case a year ago, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.

Vietnamese law treats theft as a criminal offense if the stolen property's value exceeds VND2 million ($87). Wang's jail term is possibly the heaviest punishment to be handed down for a flight theft case, as many Chinese culprits caught in recent years have just been fined and deported.

Last April, a Hanoi court sentenced a Chinese man to two years in jail for stealing $6,200 on another Vietnam Airlines flight.

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